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Palolo Neighborhood Board Meeting April 2019 Minutes
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019
PALOLO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CAFETERIA
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Randolph Hack called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Quorum WAS ESTABLISHED with eight (8) members present. Note - This 13-member board requires seven (7) members to establish a quorum and to take official Board action.
Board Members Present: Barbara Armentrout, Frank Farm, Josh Frost, Randolph Hack, Paul Holtrop, Beverly Mau, Earl Shiraki, and Darlene Nakayama.
Board Members Absent: Will Caron, Bradley Rentz, Rusti Onishi, and Jaime Rincon.
Guests: Lieutenant Lowell (Honolulu Police Department); Dominic Diaz (Board of Water Supply); Director Ross Sasamura (Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative/Department of Facility Maintenance); Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Director Catherine P. Awakuni-Colón; Cliff Kaneshiro (Councilmember Ann Kobayashi's Office); House Representative Calvin Say; (Residents) Jr. Traver Carroll, Jackie Carroll, Jay Chivers, Maribeth Samiento, Elton Fukumoto, Carol Lee-Arnold, Wainani Arnold, Grace Lee, George Lee, Pritty Borthakur, Dulal Borthakur, Jason Arakawa, Liare Arakawa, Aurelia Gonzalez, Freedom Dennis, Roya Dennis, Dave Watase, Kahealani Kaehi, Kehau Lianos, Evan Anderson, David Farrell, Philip Tom, Cory Kot, Syndney Lynch, Maelyn Chang, Bruce Shimokawa, Martha Torney, Ashley Noji, Keoki Noji, Shirley Murakami, Bill Chismar, Rose Chismar, Tae Kim, Drew Matsumoto, Sandra Staab, Daryn Shima, Ann Harada, Howard Caires, Tracy Caires; and Thomas Baldwin (Neighborhood Assistant).
Citing time restraints for the Representative and hearing no objections, Chair Hack moved to Representative Calvin Say.
Representative Calvin Say: Representative Say distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
Helicopter Noise Bill: Representative Say reported that the Helicopter Noise Bill is moving through the Legislature.
Kuahea Street and Waiomao Road: Representative Say reported that testimony had been submitted to the City Council's Executive Capital Budget for 2020 to support a $1.5 million appropriation for improvements to Kuahea Street and Waiomao Road.
Palolo Valley Infrastructure: Representative Say reported that testimony was submitted in support of a resolution encouraging the State and the City to coordinate and repairs and mitigations strategies for the infrastructure issues in Palolo Valley.
Housing Testimony: Representative Say reported that his office submitted testimony related to rental housing to the City Council Zoning and Planning committee following consultation from Palolo residents on affordable housing concerns.
??? Kawau Park Homeless: Representative Say reported that the homeless campers were escorted out of Kawau Park.
Sewer Project: Representative Say reported that the sewer project extending from 9th avenue to 10th avenue is on schedule.
Senate Bill (SB) 77: Representative Say reported on a letter from the Manoa Neighborhood Board related to the appropriation for the Ala Wai Canal Mitigation Project. Representative Say reported that SB77, the appropriation measure for the Ala Wai Canal Flood Mitigation project, did not pass the House. He added that there is a Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) to create a working group to address the project.
Board of Water Supply (BWS) Access Road: Representative Say reported that resident Alika expressed concerns with BWS creating a utility access road to Waahila State Park, as it's under their jurisdiction. The neighbors oppose the access road unless it can be protected against outside trespassers. The petition from the residents was read aloud.
Feral Chickens: Representative Say reported that Palolo Valley Housing Management is addressing the feral chickens in the area.
FirstLAP Condominium: Representative Say reported that there will be a major project involving FirstLAP and the Methodist church of Palolo Avenue to help transition prisoners. He reported that there have been some discussions of condominium construction.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. AirBnB: Shiraki expressed concerns with the AirBnB bill's potential impact on residents. Representative Say responded that he voted no on the measure that passed the House, as it would allow AirBnBs in residential areas. He added that it is not in compliance with the zoning codes.
2. Recreational Marijuana: Shiraki expressed concerns with recreational marijuana legislation.
3. Sanctuary City: Shiraki expressed concerns with Sanctuary City legislation.
Hearing no objections, Chair Hack moved to CITY MONTHLY REPORTS.
CITY MONTHLY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): No representative was present; no report was given.
Honolulu Police Department - District 7: Lieutenant Lowell reported the following:
March 2019 Statistics: There were 4 motor vehicle thefts, 18 burglaries, 10 thefts, 16 unauthorized entry into motor vehicles (UEMV), and 6,119 calls for service.
Safety Tip - S.C.A.M.S - An HPD representative gave the following tips to avoid scams:
o Money Transfer & Sweepstake Scams: Sweepstakes scams involve promises of big lottery prizes through mail or phone call to unsuspecting persons. The scam involves requesting taxes on the lottery prize in advance of the lottery. Legitimate organizations will not request this information in this manner. If you receive this type of call, hang up.
o Car Accident Scams: This scam occurs in parking lots where people will accuse someone of damaging their vehicle, and will then propose settling without insurance. Many do not want their premiums to go up, and may fall for this scam. In this situation, call 9-1-1.
o Home Improvement Scams: A scammer contractor will come to a home and tell the resident that they need work done, and will promise cheap non-union work. The scammer will request money for supplies before work has started.
o Auto Repair Scams: A scammer will tell a vehicle owner that their vehicle needs repair work, and offer their services. Auto repair mechanics typically don't solicit this way.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Scam Calls: Shiraki asked what recourse the community has for dealing with scam callers. The HPD Representative recommended not picking up the phone for unknown numbers.
2. Hikers Parking on Driveway: Farm commented that trail hikers tend to occupy residential parking spots along Waiomao Road, and are too close to the driveways. He asked what the recommendation would be when a vehicle is already on the driveway, and the representative responded that they can call HPD. He commented that they cannot site vehicles without apparent signing. Drivers must be four (4) feet from the driveway.
3. Crimes: Shiraki expressed concerns with drugs leading to more crime in the community. He commented that marijuana uses act as a gateway to this activity and urged HPD to enforce.
Board of Water Supply (BWS): Dominic Diaz of the BWS reported the following:
Main Break Report: Diaz reported one (1) main break 8" main fronting 2296 Waiomao Road.
Public Outreach Events: Over the next few months, BWS employees will be participating in several public events to meet with residents to discuss water conservation, water emergency preparedness, and share valuable information.
??? Park and Utility Access road: Diaz reported that he would provide more information related to the Waahila State Park and the utility access road project at the next meeting.
Waiomao Road: Diaz reported that the BWS leak detection team monitors Waiomao Road and Kuahea Street twice a week. He added that they are looking to employ new technologies to provide daily leak detection. In addition, BWS is exploring at grade water main designs and a long term proposed water main replacement project for Waiomao Road from 10th Avenue to Pu'unoa Place and the length of Kuahea Street.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed regarding main breaks: Access Road: Resident Alika expressed concerns with the BWS Utility Access Road. He commented that they recently evicted drug users camping in the area, and that residents are concerned with security in the area.
Council Chair Anne Kobayashi's Office: Cliff Kaneshiro of Council Chair Kobayashi's distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
Council Calendar: Kaneshiro summarized this month's legislative calendar, reporting the next full Honolulu City Council meeting on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 and Committee meetings the following week.
Palolo Appropriations: Kaneshiro reported that Council Chair Kobayashi proposed appropriations to the Palolo District Park and a geological plan for Waiomao and Kuahea.
Honors: Kaneshiro reported that City Council honored educator Sarah King.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Waiomao Road Parking Signs: Farm referred HPD's recommendations for parking signs to Council Chair Kobayashi's office. He requested that the installation of parking signs to deter hikers along Waiomao Road be evaluated. He requested public trash cans be considered as well. Kaneshiro referred the request to DFM Director Ross Sasamura to provide clarifications, as there are existing signs in the area, and further signage could restrict maintenance.
2. Ala Wai Canal Project: Shiraki asked and Kaneshiro responded that SB77 will likely not continue through the Legislative process, but its fate is uncertain.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative: Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) Director Ross Sasamura delayed the Mayor's report for the presentation from the Department of Environmental Services (ENV).
Bulky-Item Pickup Pilot Project: Tim Houghton of the Department of Environmental Services (ENV) gave a presentation and reported the following:
Current System: Houghton reviewed the current bulky item pickup system in the neighborhood.
Problems: Houghton discussed the problems with the current system. The current system experiences delays beyond the three (3) to four (4) days expected pick-up window. The current system also experiences frequent illegal dumping, which can escalate to provide pedestrian and general safety risks. In addition, the increased load requires City vehicles that will more quickly damage the roads. From 2008 - 2018, ENV saw a rise of bulky item pickup tonnage from 6500 tons to 11600 tons.
Pilot Project: Houghton reported that they will introduce an appointment based system in June 2019. Residents and Property Managers will need to make appointments to have their bulky items picked up. The pilot project's range is specifically in Honolulu. ENV is creating a website for residents to schedule appointments. Residents wishing to call for bulky-item pick up appointments should call 768-3200. Houghton commented on the available functions of the websites. The crew will only pick up the items specifically requested for pickup. Inspectors will join them to help educate those wrongfully adding their items to a pile. They will also encourage donations of the objects through the website. Once a scheduled date is made, residents and property managers will receive reminders up to the date of the appointment. Bulky items can be set out the night before or early morning of a pickup. The appointment system will allow for prompt pick-ups.
Public Engagement: Houghton reported that they will send mailers in April 2019.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Scheduling an Appointment: Armentrout asked and Houghton responded that they will take back the recommendation to call residents to remind them of a pick-up.
2. Construction Debris: Armentrout asked and Houghton responded that they do not pick up construction debris.
3. Abuse: Shiraki expressed concerns with the project, commenting that residents might leave their bulky items with another's pile. Houghton responded that this system is utilized and is effective in San Francisco.
4. Scheduling an Appointment (continued): Frost asked and Houghton responded that residents can call to have a walkthrough of the scheduling process.
5. Recycling Organizations: Frost asked and Houghton responded that they are coordinating with Reuse Hawaii and related non-profits. They will post their information on the website and pass on their information over the phone.
6. Support: Farm expressed his appreciation for the project.
7. Scheduling (continued): Mau any time they can come and pick up the items. Mau asked, and Houghton responded that the residents can only schedule appointments at available times.
8. Abuse (continued): Mau asked and Houghton responded that the person who made the appointment will not be penalized for excess items they did not place. Inspectors will work to find out who added unlisted items to the pile to educate them.
9. Logistics: Resident Dave Watase recommended increasing the pickup volume for efficiency. He added concerns with the limits and inability to control what people do with their items. He commented that expecting inspectors to identify an individual who wrongfully placed an item on a pile is unreasonable. He added that other ENV representatives commented that some could be fined. Houghton responded that as this is a pilot project, questions on efficient pickup volume will be discussed throughout. He commented that education is the goal of the inspectors, not necessarily fines. Houghton added that bulky-items only being put out from the evening before a pick-up will greatly reduce the chances that unlisted items are stacked in these piles.
10. Neighbor Collection Agreements: Resident Sydney Lynch reported that their neighborhood agrees to leave their bulky items in one (1) location, and asked if these could continue. Houghton responded that while the new system discourages stacking bulky items away from your property, they might be able to make a new arrangement in these cases.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative (continued): Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) Director Ross Sasamura received questions, comments, and concerns from the Board and community:
1. Waiomao and Kuahea Construction: Resident Lynch requested clarification on the $1.5 million appropriation, as DDC Director Kroening reported previously that the project would be roughly $20 million. Director Sasamura responded that the $1.5 million dollars represents the first stages of planning and design of the roughly $20 million project. He commented that the project will need support from the City Council. Resident Lynch asked and Director Sasamura responded that he could not comment on Council Chair Kobayashi's $350,000 request for a geological survey. Resident Lynch asked and Director Sasamura responded that the length of the design phases will depend on the consultant. Resident Lynch asked and Director Sasamura responded that he could not provide guarantees at this stage if the work would be done, as continuation of the project relies on other factors, including the City Council.
2. Retaining Walls: Resident Bill Chismar reported that construction was starting on Kuahea Street's retaining wall. Resident Chismar requested details on the plan for the knowledge of the residents. Director Sasamura responded that the ongoing work is emergency work to stabilize as much as possible. He commented that the work is meant to maintain egress and ingress for the citizens who lives in the area and the right of way for city services. He commented that much of the work is temporary, as the permanent work will be addressed in a separate project.
3. Design and Construction Timeline: Resident Julie Etsie asked and Director Sasamura responded that appropriations to begin design and planning for necessary improvements to Kuahea Street is in the budget. Resident Etsie expressed concerns that the apparent timeline would likely not allow for construction by July 2019, as was stated in March 2019. She expressed concerns that efficient planning would not be possible in a short amount of time. Director Sasamura responded that July 1, 2019 marks the beginning of the next fiscal year, adding that there is no funding for long term mitigation. He added that the approval process leaves this to the City Council. He commented that until at least July 1, 2019, the City cannot issue a contract or begin work without sufficient funds. Resident Etsie observed that, if planning will only begin when funds are appropriated, construction will not begin for a considerable time. Director Sasamura responded that Kroening made an estimate of $20 million for the construction of necessary mitigation. Director Sasamura concluded that design funds for this construction must be appropriated first.
4. Hazardous Materials: Resident Etsie asked and Director Sasamura responded that any contractor for demolition is bound to mitigate any potential hazardous material incidents, including asbestos..
5. Testimony: Armentrout encouraged residents to provide testimony to the City Council on April 17, 2019. She added that the budget bill will be considered on April 24, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. Director Sasamura agreed that it is important to provide testimony for this item.
6. Information: Resident Chismar expressed concerns with the lack of information available to residents as to the decisions directly impacting their neighborhood. Specifically, he requested information on houses to be demolished.
7. Funding: Resident Chismar asked and Director Sasamura clarified that July 1, 2019 is when planning and design could begin, while the commencement of work would be contingent on the plans that the contractor would need to begin the work. He commented that he cannot make any claims related to when construction would begin, as this depends on what consultants find necessary to stabilize the area.
8. Retaining Walls (continued): Sydney Lynch expressed concerns with the condition of the retaining walls of Waiomao Road. She asked what would happen if any portions of the retaining wall collapsed. Director Sasamura responded that any structural defect from private property will be taken up by DPP. He commented that the property would likely receive a notice of violation.
9. Walkway for Kuahea Place: Shiraki asked and Director Sasamura responded that the City cannot make improvements like a walkway at Kuahea Place. He commented that the road is private and only surface improvements to the road can be made.
10. Retaining Walls (continued): Resident Etsie asked if the retaining wall has shifted into the City's right of way, is it legally the City's property. Director Sasamura responded that he cannot answer that question because both the land and the right of way has moved. He commented that this assessment must be done on a case by case basis.
Governor David Ige's Representative: Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Director Catherine P. Awakuni-Colón distributed and highlighted items from the newsletter, including Governor Ige's vision for 99 year leasehold on State Land condominiums, an update on Housing First initiatives to help those experiencing homelessness, and new affordable rental units.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. 99 year leasehold: Frost asked and Director Awakuni-Colón responded that she would find out if the 99 year leasehold item is a part of a bill in the Legislature.
2. Sanctuary City: Shiraki requested that Governor Ige not support Sanctuary City initiatives.
Ala Wai Flood Mitigation Project Update: Resident Dave Watase updated the community on the Ala Wai Canal Flood Mitigation Project and expressed appreciation to the Palolo Neighborhood Board No. 6 for adopting the resolution to request the project be postponed. Resident Watase reported that SB77 was not heard by the House Finance committee and was deferred by at least one (1) year. He commented that there are other funding initiatives that could move the project forward, including gut and replace legislation or the City signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing without the state matching funds. He encouraged residents sign their petition at www.stopalawaiproject.com. Resident Watase reported that the USACE met with community members and elected officials on March 19, 2019 at Manoa District Park. He reported that Senate Concurrent Resolution 184 which recently passed the Senate is going to be heard by the joint Water and Land (WAL) and Hawaiian Affairs (HWN) Committees to form a working group of stakeholders to discuss alternatives to the project. He commented that presentations at the Manoa meeting were unrelated to the project, and that USACE gave a short, uninformative presentation. In addition, Resident Watase expressed concerns that USACE did not say what would be done with the community concerns. He commented that only aesthetic changes have been considered by USACE. He commented that the project has major issues, and that the community has expressed similar concerns to the potential impact to the community. He is encouraging all the Boards in the Ala Wai Watershed to create a Permitted Interaction Group (PIG) to discuss the issue.
Mitigating the Impacts of the Kuahea Street Land Movement ??? Resident Chismar reported that the questions were already answered earlier in the meeting.
Reports of Board Members Attendance at City Meetings - Armentrout reported that the Rate Commission discussed City Council Bill 77, the bill to raise TheBus and Handi-Van fares. She reported that the Commission is still working with the Department of Transportation Services to find a compromise.
Formation of PIG on Ala Wai Flood Control Project: Chair Hack reported that a Permitted Interaction Group (PIG) waives some of the requirements of sunshine law. The Neighborhood Assistant reported that members of the Board wishing to be on the PIG must be appointed at the meeting, and that no PIG can have more members than the quorum of the Board.
Manoa PIG: Resident Elton Fukumoto reported that he is a member of the Manoa PIG on the same issue and expressed interest in speaking with the other members after the completion of the PIG.
Additional Member: Resident Watase reported that Board Member Caron expressed interest to join the PIG. Frost asked and the Neighborhood Assistant recommended against allowing a Board member not formally appointed by the Board to attend the PIG meetings to avoid violating sunshine law.
Volunteers: Frost, Hack, and Farm volunteered to join the PIG.
Frost moved and Farm seconded to create a Permitted Interaction Group to discuss and deliberate action related to the Ala Wai Flood Control Project, and assign Frost, Hack, and Farm as members of the Permitted Interaction Group. The motion WAS ADOPTED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT; 8-0-0 (AYE: Armentrout, Farm, Frost, Hack, Holtrop, Mau, Shiraki, and Nakayama. NAY: None. ABSTAIN: None.)
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Submitted by: Thomas Baldwin, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Beverly Mau, Vice Chair
Finalized by: Randolph Hack, Chair
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