Kapolei-Makakilo Neighborhood Board Passes Resolutions Opposing Ho’opili and Ewa Development Plan

The Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale No. 34 on Wednesday evening, August 28, 2013 passed two important resolutions opposing the Ewa Development Plan in its current version and strongly opposing the
Ho’opili development.

The resolution opposing Ho’opili states “BE IT RESOLVED that Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board states its strong opposition to the Ho’opili development,” which was passed unanimously
by the newly elected board members.

The resolution opposing Bill 65, the Ewa Development Plan stats the board was “IN OPPOSITION TO THE CURRENT VERSION OF THE ‘EWA DEVELOPMENT PLAN” and passed was also passed Unanimously by the neighborhood board.

Attached are the full resolutions as adopted.
For further information contact:

Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale No. 34 Chair Evelyn Souza

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RESOLUTION OF THE MAKAKILO-KAPOLEI-HONOKAI HALE NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD RESCINDING SUPPORT FOR THE HO’OPILI PROJECT

WHEREAS, Article 11, Section 3 of the 1978 Hawaii State Constitution as amended orders that “the State shall conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency and assure availability of agriculturally suitable lands;” and

WHEREAS, Act 183, passed in 2005 “requires identification of Important Agricultural Lands (IAL), and, under the standards set forth in Act 183, the Ho’opili farmlands qualify as Important Agricultural Lands; and

WHEREAS, in February, 2012, the Honolulu City Council passed Resolution 12-23 CD1 FD1, urging the city’s agricultural liaison to expedite the identifying and mapping of Important Agricultural Lands, and that Resolution ensured that Ho’opili and Koa Ridge, which are within the urban growth boundary, would be considered in the mapping by including the wording: “that the process of identification and mapping of important agricultural lands also consider agriculturally productive lands within urban growth boundaries that are classified as prime agricultural lands, provided adequate water supply is available”; and

WHEREAS, the Ho’opili farmlands constitute 31% of the O’ahu acreage currently producing fresh fruits and vegetables for the local market; and

WHEREAS, demand for farm-fresh food among people in Hawai’i is increasing rapidly; and

WHEREAS, 90% of our food is imported, and we keep only a week’s supply of food on the island, and any major calamity causing a disruption in our food supply could have catastrophic consequences for our people; and

WHEREAS, the University of Hawai’i–West O’ahu, which is directly across the street from the Ho’opili property, will soon be accepting seventy-five students a year for their agriculture program; and young farmers cannot find property on the island to farm; and much of this land could be made available for those graduates; and

WHEREAS, building houses does provide jobs for the builders over a roughly six month period, but once the houses are built, the houses create zero future jobs, while farms create jobs that last for centuries; and

WHEREAS, the 34,805 houses that are already zoned, fully entitled, and ready to build in the Leeward area, will fully satisfy the need stated by the Department of Planning and Permitting until 2035, and the additional 11,750 homes of the Ho’opili project will glut the market; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Water Supply, noting a decrease in rainfall to replenish aquifers, states that moving to desalinated water will be required at some time during the build-out of Ho’opili and planned units for Kaka’ako; and

WHEREAS, the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Ho’opili project states that, during the peak rush hours, the additional traffic from the project will bring the freeway to a standstill, (Level of Service F) even with rail; and

WHEREAS, the H-1/H-2 merge has long been recognized as the bottleneck on the freeway, and, further, it has long been recognized that it is impossible to widen the H-1/H-2 merge or to otherwise solve its bottleneck, and whereas options such as constructing another freeway clearly are not affordable or viable, there can be no other conclusion than that Ho’opili will add another totally unacceptable half hour to forty-five minutes to the commute to of all Leeward residents; and

WHEREAS, in June of 2011, the outgoing Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood board voted to support the Ho’opili development by a divided vote; and

WHEREAS, a new board was elected on May 21, 2013, and six of the nine elected members ran on a platform opposing the Ho’opili development, opposing any move to desalinated water, and expressing grave concern for freeway traffic, and whereas the electorate was made aware of this platform through all campaign materials, and responded by voting them onto the board; and whereas this new board therefore claims to speak for the people of the area; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED that Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board states its strong opposition to the Ho’opili development.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Mayor of the City & County of Honolulu, all members of the Honolulu City Council, the Director of the City and County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting, the Director of the City & County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services; the City Planning Commission, the Director of the Board of Water Supply, the State Office of Planning, the State Land Use Commission, Leeward and central Oahu legislators, and all members of Leeward and Central Oahu Neighborhood Boards along with all neighborhood board chairs, the president, D.R. Horton/Schuler Homes; the president, Kapolei Properties, the president, James Campbell Company; LLC; the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce, the Chancellor University of Hawaii-West O’ahu; the chairperson, Department of .Hawaiian Homelands, and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Adopted by the Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board #34 at its August 28, 2013, meeting by a vote of 6 to 3.

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RESOLUTION OF THE MAKAKILO-KAPOLEI-HONOKAI HALE NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD IN OPPOSITION TO THE CURRENT VERSION OF THE ‘EWA DEVELOPMENT PLAN

WHEREAS, the Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board at its November 30, 2011 meeting voted to ask that the no more work on the ‘Ewa Development Plan be done by the Department of Planning and Permitting until the O’ahu General Plan, which should guide the ‘Ewa Development Plan, would be completed; and

WHEREAS, during the public discussion period for the ‘Ewa Development Plan, the Planning and Zoning Committee of the Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board met on February 13, 2013, to discuss the Plan; and, in that discussion, that committee came up with seventeen amendments to the Plan; and

WHEREAS, that set of amendments was submitted by the then City Council Member for this Council District, Tom Berg, to the Zoning and Planning Committee of the City Council as amendments to Bill 65 (the ‘Ewa Development Plan approval bill); and

WHEREAS, at the April 24,2013 meeting of Neighborhood Board 34, the Department of Planning and Permitting presented a response opposing each of those amendments, and asked for a vote by the then sitting, lame-duck Board, which vote of support was given in a split 6 yes, 2 no, 1 absent vote; and

WHEREAS, a new board was elected on May 21, 2013, and six of the nine elected members ran on a platform opposing major points in the ‘Ewa Development Plan–such as the Ho’opili development, the move to desalinated water, and growth of freeway traffic–and whereas the electorate was informed of this platform through all campaign materials, and yet responded by voting this new majority onto the board; and whereas this new board therefore claims to speak for the people of the area; and

WHEREAS, additionally, on July 10, 2013, at the third and final hearing on the ‘Ewa Development Plan by the Honolulu City Council, a full fifty members of the public, including some members of Neighborhood Board 34, testified in opposition to adoption of the ‘Ewa Development Plan in its current form; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board reaffirms its opposition to the current form of the ‘Ewa Development Plan, and will pursue a Development Plan amendment process seeking relief for our people through changes of major flaws in the Plan; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Mayor of the City & County of Honolulu, all members of the Honolulu City Council, the City Planning Commission, the Department of Planning and Permitting, all State Legislators for the Leeward area, and Chairpersons of all Neighborhood Boards on O’ahu, the chairperson, Department of .Hawaiian Homelands, the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and to the news media.

Adopted by the Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board #34 at its August 28, 2013, meeting by a vote of 6 to 3.

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BACKGROUND ON HOW AND WHY THIS VOTE CAME ABOUT:

Both of these recent votes represent the overturning of the similar votes in May and June of an outgoing Board majority. The taking up of such controversial and contested issues by a board who was about to be removed by the community, was thought by some – as a poor example of the Neighborhood Board process and ignoring the will of the people.

To others, the “fast tracking” was also “suspect” in that it was timed in conjunction with the Honolulu City Council and Mayor’s passing of Bill 65 (Ewa Development Plan). Community members and board elect members had voiced strong opposition to the plan, but the City Council and Mayor ignored even though they showed out to testify by a ratio of 5 (against)
to 1 (for).

Comments from board members included, “it is really frustrating when the City Council and
Mayor appear to be tone deaf to the significant concerns and problems that the community
and new neighborhood board members had presented with the current Ewa Development Plan”.

… “it just has the appearance that the City Council and Mayor gave into the developers and campaign contributors, at the expense of taxpayers and the community, and against the will of the people”,

… “and sometimes, perception is reality”…

… “we are sick and tired of being offered band aid relief to serious problems”…

Many consider the fast tracking of the Ewa Development Plan prior to the approval of an Oahu General Plan as a prime example that the Ewa Plain is being sacrificed to bear the majority of the new growth, however the new problems such as traffic, loss of valuable AG land, failing infrastructure, failing roads, and destruction of cultural and historic sites, which are associated with the growth are far outpacing positive aspects (new jobs, new homes).

The most obvious example is the failing condition of the roads down the center of Kapolei town, and the impending closure of the Kapolei Post Office. “They want to call this a second city, but you know there is a serious problem, when we can’t even maintain basic services, like having a single post office in Kapolei business sector”, said another board member.

“while the freeway and city traffic out here is becoming more and more horrendous, by the day, the city and state response is to continue to press forward with the new construction of homes, which seems completely irresponsible” said a board member.

“voting in opposition to the Hoopili project and Ewa Development Plan is only the first step in letting our elected officials know – enough is enough – we are tired of getting lip service”.

“preserving Ho’opili for agriculture is consistent with Article 11, Section 3 of the Hawaii State
Constitution, Act 183 (Important Agricultural Lands), and City Council resolution 12-23 CD1 FD1”…. “but for some reason our state and city legislators and elected officials are not
accountable for adhering to their own legislation”.

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