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May 1994

July 1994

President's Message (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Annual Meeting
Kakaako Makai Plan
Waikiki Rezoning Proposal
Ewa/Central Oahu Development Plan Revision
Precinct Official Recruitment
Vote Count Cancellation

Kakaako Makai Plan

About twenty League members enjoyed an absorbing presentation and discussion of plans for Kakaako's makai area (south of Ala Moana Boulevard) led by three members of the staff of the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) at the Planning and Zoning Committee's April 25 meeting. We had asked Eric Masutomi, HCDA's director of planning to bring us upto-date on the Makai Area Plan. The 3/29 Advertiser carried an alarming front-page story about what it called Bishop Estate's appearing to have landed a prized financial catch - a "plum" - by being allowed to build towering condos with a view along the new waterfront park.

Armed with slides, brochures and charts, Mr. Masutomi carefully explained the original Makai Area Plan, which called for commercial use of the makai side of the Boulevard, and why changing economic conditions made it advisable to use the land for housing instead. We were assured that if this were done, densities and heights would be moderate, with large amounts of open space and a mixture of market and "affordable" housing units.

The area contains about 220 acres, of which 208 are state-owned. About 89 acres are planned for park use, about 70 for mixed use, 9 for maritimes development, and 7 for public use. Bishop Estate owns 10 acres, primarily in the blocks just makai of the Boulevard. The State will build between 600 and 1200 housing units priced to be affordable by families with incomes between 100% and 140% of median. (We pointed out that we considered this too high, as the median for a 4-person family is now approaching $50,000.)

League's involvement in Kakaako planning goes way back. Helen Griffin, formerly president of Honolulu League, was HCDA's first vice-chair and led the effort to require 20% affordable housing in all developments. Unfortunately, after her term expired, developers were allowed to "buy out" of this requirement, with the money so collected used to build housing elsewhere in Kakaako. The amount levied was modest, to say the least.

In October 1989, League was asked to comment on the then proposed Makai Area Plan. In a letter of 11/23/89, we said:

  1. We like its "people-oriented" concept.

  2. We thought it should have more open space for park use.and less commercial development along Ala Moana Blvd.

  3. We wanted more open space at ground level and not on the 45 foot high "platform" which had been in the Mauka area plan, but had not been successful.

  4. We agreed that condominiums and hotels should not be built in the Makai area, as they would in all likelihood be developed for other than Oahu residents.

  5. We said that the "buy-out" provisions were too low and "made a mockery of the affordable house requirements"

  6. We pointed out that a plan had to be implemented, and urged that actual development not be allowed to deviate from it to meet developers desires, as in the Makai Area Plan.

During the next six months, public hearings for the latest version of the makai area plan will be held and an environmental impact statement will be drawn up. The Hawaii Community Development Agency board will then vote on the proposal.

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