Testimony on SB 2665, Relating to
Environmental Impact Statements In Waikiki
The deletion of Waikiki from the list of land uses requiring an environmental assessment is, we feel, not only unwise but potentially destructive of the most environmentally valuable square mile of land in the State. Visitors come here for the ocean, for our mountains, for our blue skies and sunshine. They seek relief from the crowded urban environments in which they spend their days.
Unfortunately, our lack of concern for this area's continued beauty and restfulness has already damaged it almost beyond repair. Just last year our City Council changed the zoning to permit the re-building and redevelopment of many structures built before we had any meaningful zoning controls, at densities higher than the existing zoning permits, and with less open space. S.B. 2665 would take away one of the last remaining protections this precious and irreplaceable resource can depend on to prevent the further destruction of its remaining open space, views, and the other things tourists come here to enjoy.
It should be noted that the present law does not require an environmental impact statement, but merely an environmental assessment to see whether an Environmental Impact Statement would be appropriate. We think it would be unconscionable to exempt Waikiki form this requirement.