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Diamond Head Neighborhood Board Meeting May 2019 Minutes
DRAFT - REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2019
ALA WAI CLUB HOUSE
CALL TO ORDER: Vice Chair Bert Narita called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. A quorum was established with 10 members present. (Note - This 15-member Board requires eight (8) members to establish quorum and to take official Board action).
Members Present: Julia Allen, Ajay Bhatt, Richard Figliuzzi, Michelle Matson, Barbara Miller, Bert Narita, Mark Kamahele, Don Persons, Laura St. Denis, and Linda Wong.
Member Absent: Judith Bowman, Jerry Wanager, and Winston Welch.
Guests: State Senator Stanley Chang; State House Speaker Emeritus Calvin Say; State Representative Bertrand Kobayashi; Councilmember Tommy Waters; Nestor Garcia (Office of Congressman Ed Case); Cliff Kaneshiro (Office of Councilmember Anne Kobayashi); Kevan Wong (Office of Representative Scott Nishimoto); Captain Cory Apo (Honolulu Fire Department); Ann Wong (Board of Water Supply); Scott Ballantyne, Carolyn Watanabe, Lily Ochoco, Ann Okubo, Carolyn Tanaka, Wayne Swan, Barbara Armentrout, David Watase, Franklin Chung, Daisy Murai, Dave Arakawa, Angelina Dias, Jackson Dias, Arleen Velasco (Residents); and Thomas Baldwin (Neighborhood Assistant).
Vice Chair Narita called a recess at 6:30 p.m.
Chair Figliuzzi called the meeting back to order at 6:34 p.m.
PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD - Waikiki Station): Captain Cory Apo reported the following:
• April 2019 Statistics: There were 3 structure fires, 1 brushfire, 2 nuisance fires, 1 cooking fire, 8 activated alarms, 124 medical emergencies, 2 motor vehicle collisions with a pedestrian, 4 motor vehicle crashes, and 1 mountain rescue.
• Safety Tips - HIKE SAFE: HFD often responds to hikers who are lost or injured and uses the acronym H.I.K.E. S.A.F.E. for the following hiking safety tips:
o Hike with a partner or a group and have a plan. The groups should establish where to meet if the members become separated.
o Inform someone of the hiking destination and planned return time.
o Keep a cellular phone, flashlight, and whistle on every hike, even on short day-hikes.
o Eat well, stay hydrated, and carry plenty of water. Two (2) liters of water per person, per day is recommended.
o Stay on the trail, abide by all posted signs, and do not hike in closed or dangerous areas.
o Ask for help early and do not delay. Minor / moderate health or medical issues can be easily exacerbated by hiking.
o Familiarize oneself with the area, use a map, and consult a government-sponsored website.
o Expect changes in the weather and terrain; bring appropriate footwear and clothing.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Assault on Lemon Road: Wong asked and Captain Apo responded that the emergency on Lemon Road was last shift and involved an assault.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) - District 6 Waikiki/ Diamond Head): Sergeant Romero reported the following: March 2019 Statistics: There were 8 robberies, 23 burglaries, 163 thefts, 18 unauthorized entry into motor vehicles (UEMV), 23 assaults, 2 sex crimes, 52 bicycle citations, 14 skateboard citations, 48 speeding citations, 309 parking citations, 4 loud muffler citation, 56 park closure warnings, 71 park closure citations, and 16 park closure arrests.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Assault on Lemon Road: Wong asked and … responded that they would provide more info on the assault at the next meeting.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD - District 7 Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights): An HPD District 7 Representative reported the following:
• April 2019 Statistics: There were 2 motor vehicle thefts, 20 burglaries, 38 thefts, and 21 UEMVs.
• 3-1-1: The HPD Representative discussed the 3-1-1 System, commenting that upon rollout, residents will be have a separate means to report non-emergencies, such as parking violations to the police department or other agencies more effectively.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Statistics - Homeless: Chair Figliuzzi asked and the HPD representative responded that he would investigate the percentage of their statistics involved homeless individuals.
2. Calling 911 vs. 311 report: Wong asked and the HPD representative responded that residents should call 911 in the case of emergencies, call 911 in the case of non-emergencies that require immediate police service (noise complaints, updates to an ongoing investigation, etc.) ought to go through 911 as a non-emergency. He concluded that otherwise, residents will be advised to use the 311 service to report non-emergencies that do not need immediate police service (reporting parking violations, potholes, etc.)
Board of Water Supply: Ann Wong of the BWS reported the following:
• Main Breaks: There were two main breaks in the month of April 2019.
• Preventing Fraud: BWS reminds customers to be vigilant about protecting themselves against fraud. Utility customers are increasingly becoming targets for individuals attempting to gain access to residences, steal personal information, or trick them into giving away their money. Scammers can act through unexpected or aggressive text messages, phone calls, or visits to a property. Residents should call BWS Customer Care at 748-5030 to verify account status. To confirm the validity of an individual claiming to be a BWS employee, residents may call BWS at 748-5000 or HPD at 9-1-1 if suspicious. Customers may also call BWS at 748-5041 to file a report about suspicious encounters.
??? Responses: Wong provided the following responses to the concerns raised at the previous meeting:
o Red Hill:
o Recycled Water:
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Wastewater/Sewer Use: Resident Chung asked and A. Wong responded that the sewer bill is based off of use.
2. Per Household Use: Chair Figliuzzi requested statistics related to the per household use of water in the county. A resident commented that the average consumption is 150 million gallons every day for a population of roughly one (1) million residents. BWS Representative A. Wong responded that the use varies throughout the year and would return with statistics.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative - No representative was present; Chair Figliuzzi read a memo from the Mayor's Representative into the record: Neighborhood Board Elections Announcement; The Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) is happy to announce that this Friday, April 26 marks the opening of the online voting period for the 2019 Neighborhood Board Election. The voting period will run through Friday, May 17 at 11:59 p.m. The 2019 Neighborhood Board Election is being held online at www2.honolulu.gov.nbe. The website will not be activated until the voting period begins on Friday, April 26 at 8:30 a.m. and concludes on Friday, May 17 at 4:30 p.m. Passcodes are being mailed to eligible voters prior to the start of the voting period. Please note that O‘ahu voters residing in an uncontested race area will not receive a passcode. Online voting ends at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 17. If you are unable to vote online, you can request a paper ballot by calling the NCO's Ballot Request Hotline at 768-3710 no later than 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 13 with your full name, birthdate, and residential address. Returned ballots must be postmarked by Friday, May 17 and received by the NCO no later than Friday, May 24. The following voting sites with computer access will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Friday, April 26 through Friday, May 17: Kapolei Hale Conference Room C, 1000 Ulu‘ohi‘a Street (Mondays through Fridays); Kap lama Hale, 925 Dillingham Boulevard Suite 160 (Mondays through Fridays); The KEY Project in Kahalu‘u at 47-2000 Waihe'e Road from 8:30 a.m. and 4:30p.m.(Monday through Friday); Any public library on O‘ahu within the Hawai‘i State Public Library System (see library hours). The certified election results shall be made public no later than Monday, June 3. For more information please call NCO at 768-3705 or visit www.honolulu.gov/NCO.
Governor David Ige's Representative - No representative was present; no report was given.
Representatives: Matson reiterated previous concerns with the lack of a Governor's Representative and the ongoing absence of the Mayor's Representative. She requested an update as to when representation from these offices would return to the Board.
PRIORITY COMMUNITY ISSUES
Tour Helicopter Safety and Noise Impacts: Planning and Zoning Committee Chair Matson reported the following:
• Community Public Safety Priority: Matson reported that, following the fatal tour helicopter crash in Kailua at the end of April 2019, the Kailua Neighborhood Board prioritized this issue at their monthly meeting.
• Joint Letter: Chair Matson reported that a letter signed by Senators Laura Thielen, Gil Riviere, Jarett Keohokalole and Stanley Chang has been delivered to Hawaii's Congressional Delegates "requesting that tour and commercial helicopter operations in [the] state be immediately grounded until an investigation can be completed on the Kailua tour helicopter crash."
• Multiple Crashes: Chair Matson reported that the fatal crash in Kailua was preceded by another helicopter crash in He‘eia State Park two (2) weeks prior, and an earlier crash landing on the Kaneohe Bay sand bar in October 2018.
• Regulatory Controls: Chair Matson concluded that significant public concern is mounting that tour helicopter flights are absent needed regulatory controls.
Tour Helicopter Safety and Noise Impacts - Congressman Case: Congressman Ed Case's Communications Director, Nestor Garcia spoke on the issue regarding the most recent communications, events, and efforts. Garcia distributed the following documents and reported the following:
• National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Preliminary Report:
o Preliminary Report: Garcia commented that this preliminary report on the tour helicopter crash in Kailua was recently released describing the tour helicopter's descent and crash details, with the probable cause of the crash in Kailua yet to be determined. The final report on the cause of the crash is expected to be at least a year away.
o Congressman's Concern: Garcia reported that Congressman Case expressed his concerns in his third letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after reading the preliminary report, requesting an explanation for their lack of immediate regulatory action to protect the people on the ground and in the air.
o Recent Meeting: Garcia reported that on May 3, 2019, the Hawaii ‘s Congressional Delegation met with State lawmakers on O‘ahu's windward side to strategize how all parties/stakeholders can collaborate to actively address the safety concerns.
o City Council Resolution: Garcia reported that the Honolulu City Council has additionally introduced a Resolution calling on the FAA to ground Robinson 44 (R44) helicopters and to suspend all air tour flights over residential areas.
• Letters of Record: Garcia distributed the following:
• April 4, 2019, letter from Congressman Case to the FAA Regional Administrator relating to unregulated air tour operations, exclusive FAA jurisdiction, implementing controls, and the right of public input.
??? April 29, 2019, letter from State Representative Cynthia Thielen to the Hawaii Congressional Delegation requesting assistance in immediately grounding tour and commercial helicopter operations in Hawaii until completion of the Kailua crash investigation.
• April 30, 2019, letter from Congressman Case to the FAA Regional Administrator requesting a response to the joint letter to the FAA from the State Senators and options for action to protect the public.
• May 9, 2019, letter from Congressman Case to the FAA Regional Administrator citing an R44 tour helicopter flight at an altitude of 600 feet over downtown Honolulu on May 6, 2019, and requesting immediate protective public safety action from the FAA.
• Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report: Garcia reported that on, March 13, 2019, CRS report initiated by Congressman Case reviews the regulatory aspects of air tour helicopters in Hawaii, including the FAA "Hawai‘i Air Tours Common Procedures Manual" for recommended helicopter operations followed by helicopter pilots. The operations manual is being updated by the FAA with only the helicopter operators, and excludes community participation and input.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Public Statements: Chair Figliuzzi asked and Garcia responded that no public statements or communication have been received by Robinson Helicopters, but that they are participating with other parties in the ongoing NTSB investigation.
2. Recommendations: Matson expressed concern that the community would have no input on updating the regulations. Garcia noted that the helicopter operations manual is comprised only of recommendations, such as flight altitudes given existing weather conditions. Garcia emphasized that Congressman Case intends to work with members of Congress to explore stringent safety standards in the air as well as on the ground.
3. Public Involvement and Input: Garcia reported that Congressman Case will be sending a letter to all Neighborhood Boards expressing his desire work with them and to receive their adopted Resolutions speaking to the concerns that need to be addressed.
4. Board Action: Kailua Resident Laeha commented on the Kailua Neighborhood Board's unanimous support of the tour helicopter investigation statement signed by the four (4) State Senators, and expressed his hope that the Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board would consider a similar position of support for the Senators' recommendations. He explained that the absence of commercial tour helicopter regulatory control of affects all O‘ahu's communities. He that community concerns include the increasing frequency of helicopter tours and the absence of monitoring and restrictions on commercial helicopter tour activities.
5. Accountability: Vice Chair Narita expressed concerns about lack of accountability of those hired by the FAA to enforce the regulations, and those hired by Federal and State agencies to ensure airworthiness of the aircraft. He pointed out that there is no indication of efforts to hold people and agencies accountable until the public gets involved.
6. FAA Regulations: Matson explained that the national FAA regulatory flight distance minimums are 1,000 feet minimum altitude above any building, object or land mass and 1,000 feet horizontal distance from same, and the minimum altitude and distance have been lifted to 1,500 feet for Hawaii. She added the following:
• Diamond Head Summit is 760 feet above sea level, therefore tour helicopters must fly at an altitude of 2,260 feet above sea level.
• Schuman Helicopters operates Hughes helicopters, with the loudest sound level, and their "Magnum" tour helicopters cross Diamond Head's ridges, summit and crater two-to-three (2-3) times per hour, eight (8) hours per day, seven (7) days per week at only a few hundred feet above the Summit's visitors.
• Over the past year Schuman Helicopters has become known as the maverick tour helicopter operator because of their uncontrolled flight path over the residential communities and conservation district.
• While the FAA considers all airspace in the State their airspace, they neglect to regulate and control the airspace below their radar-controlled HNL Class B airspace that begins at 4,000 feet above sea level at Diamond Head, thus the tour helicopters fly within State
airspace that the State is not allowed to control; thus the major issue is that there is no control.
• During a recent Star-Advertiser poll, 85% of the respondents advocated "tightened restrictions on tour helicopters flying over residential neighborhoods" because of the "growing safety/nuisance problem."
7. Offshore Requirement: Resident Blissard informed the Board that Kahala residents have been keeping logs of the flight altitudes, frequency, and noise factors of myriad tour helicopters as they fly over Blackpoint, however with the recent tour helicopter tragedy in Kailua it is clear that these helicopters must be kept offshore from residential areas and communities. She added that the New York Northshore Helicopter Route passed in Congress provides a blueprint and model for remedy. Chair Figliuzzi requested a copy of the map to provide to the Board.
8. Abuse: Resident Herbert reported that her friend's family lives close to the Kailua helicopter crash site, and could easily have been walking on the road impacted by the crash. She asked that those present consider how they would feel if such a crash occurred in their neighborhood, and recommended that this Neighborhood Board stand together with other Neighborhood Boards against the overflights by tour helicopters.
9. Vote for the People: Wong agreed this should be brought to a vote and requested the Governor's representative to be present.
10. Risk Factors: Matson presented a Star-Advertiser news photo of the Kailua helicopter crash and a second photo of the He‘eia State Park helicopter crash. She asked how this community would react if a helicopter crashed on or around Diamond Head.
11. Offshore Requirements: Kamahele mentioned that he works along the shoreline daily and shares the same concern. He asked about offshore restrictions for tour helicopters and if altitude restrictions are the same offshore as they are over land, as many people use the shoreline parks for family gatherings and can no longer enjoy the shoreline peacefully.Congressman Case's representative Garcia replied that the federal requirements for helicopters flying over water are a) to have the necessary life-saving equipment on board, and b) to stay within a certain distance offshore for first responders to be able to rescue them in an emergency, and they are restricted from going beyond that point. Matson added that the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) Manager informed her that the FAA does not have an offshore altitude restriction for helicopters and they can fly close to the water even fronting the residential condos.
12. Board Resolution: Matson read into the record the proposed Resolution Relating to Tour Helicopters: "Because of the recent fatalities, unsafe flight patterns, low altitudes and high noise levels of commercial tour helicopters flying over our communities, the Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board emphasizes that the FAA Hawaii Air Traffic Control and Flight Standards District Office, the Hawaii Congressional Delegation, and the Hawaii State Department of Transportation Airports Division must work together with Hawaii State Senators and Representatives and the impacted communities of record to ensure immediate remedies and controls through stringent regulations and enforcement. In addition, the Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board supports our elected officials' written request dated April 30, 2019, that the FAA and State Department of Transportation Airports Division immediately ground tour and commercial helicopter operations in our State until an investigation can be completed, and requests that commercial tour helicopter flights over Diamond Head and surrounding communities be stopped immediately." Boardmember Matson noted that this would be forwarded in Resolution form to the FAA and all parties mentioned in the Resolution. Chair Figliuzzi suggested adding the word "thorough" to investigation in the Resolution.
Matson moved and Persons seconded that the Resolution be incorporated as adopted by the Board. The Board adopted the Resolution by UNANIMOUS CONSENT; 10-0-0 (AYE: Allen, Bhatt, Figliuzzi, Matson, Miller, Narita, Kamahele, Persons, St. Denis, and Wong. NAY: None. ABSTAIN: None.)
OTHER RESIDENTS/COMMUNITY CONCERN
Acknowledgement of Military Service Members: Vice Chair Narita expressed concerns with the lack of public and media acknowledgement of the service provided by military service members.
Abandoned Vehicles and Parking: Resident Michael expressed concerns with abandoned vehicles anywhere on Date Street and its side streets. He commented that tow companies no longer have space in their lots, and commented that some community efforts ought to be taken to reduce the incidences of abandoned vehicles. Chair Figiuzzi asked and Resident Michael responded that some vehicles never move, which makes it difficult for residents trying to find parking.
Flight Radar 24: Matson informed those present that the "Flight Radar 24" app can be downloaded onto mobile phones and tablets to identify approaching and departing fixed-wing aircraft and tour helicopters flying in the area, along with the aircraft name, model and number, flight path and altitude.
PRIORITY COMMUNITY CONCERNS (PART II)
Neighborhood Monster Houses and Vacation Rentals: Planning and Zoning Committee Chair Matson reported the following:
• Monster Houses in Residential Neighborhoods: Matson reported that City Council Bill 79, 2018 "Relating to Detached Dwellings," passed by the Honolulu City Council on April 17, 2019, was enacted into law on May 1, 2019. She added that Bill 79 addresses the impacts of monster homes in residential neighborhoods, with the key provisions as follows:
o Floor Area-to-Lot Area Density Ratio - Replaces the building footprint of 50% of the buildable lot size in square feet with the building's total square-foot density ratio to the buildable lot size, with a cap of no more than 60% density and a 5-foot building setback for the side and rear yards for one and two dwellings per lot, and 70% density with 8-foot side and rear yard building setbacks if the owner resides on the property.
o Therefore a 5,000 square-foot lot is allowed up to 3,000 to 3,500 square feet of dwelling floor area, and a 10,000 square-foot lot is allowed up to 6,000 to 7,000 square feet of dwelling floor area.
o Additional Premises Parking - Requires an additional parking stall within the property for every 750 square feet in excess of 2,500 square feet of building area.
o Impervious Surface Limit - Restricts impervious surfacing such as concrete, stone or asphalt to 75% of the lot size, although many testifiers advocated reducing this to 50% to mitigate flooding and ensure more neighborhood landscaping. Enforcement - A significant concern remains that the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) does not have enough funding or properly trained staff to investigate and enforce violations, and future legislation may be needed to augment Bill 79 once DPP's capabilities are determined.
• Vacation Rentals in Residential Neighborhoods: Matson reported that City Council Bills 85 and 89, 2018, address legal and illegal vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods. At the May 8, 2019 City Council meeting, Bills 85 and 89 were returned to the Council's Planning, Zoning and Housing Committee with several floor amendments for consideration and without agreement.
• Combined Bills: Matson reported that the City Council is looking at combining the enforcement provisions of Bill 85 with Bill 89, which additionally increases legal vacation rentals by 1,715 units island-wide in addition to the 816 legal units outside of the Waikiki resort zone, together with 6,000 to 8,000 illegal vacation rental units.
• Enforcement: Matson reported that because most vacation rental units are illegal, concerns have been raised that DPP is ineffective in enforcing current regulations and closing down illegal vacation rentals, and that DPP has no capacity to enforce because they lack the capability, funding and training for enforcement.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Correspondence: Chair Figliuzzi commented that he had received a communication regarding illegal vacation rentals from the St. Louis Heights Community Association's chairperson and will forward it for distribution.
2. Action: Chair Figliuzzi determined that Board consideration of both the Tour Helicopter Safety and Noise Permitted Interaction Group and the Neighborhood Preservation Interaction Group together with the Ala Wai Canal and Golf Course Interaction Group will be at the end of the Priority Issues agenda.
Sherwood Forest: A resident reported that he attended a Waimanalo Community gathering involving Councilmember Ikaika Anderson in discussing the bulldozing activities in the Sherwood Forest area. He commented that his perspective was that, at the meeting, there were alarming concerns including the originating master plan started in 2010 in a private meeting that was held at the request of the Waimanalo Neighborhood Board at the time. He commented that there were no meeting minutes or invitation to the public. He commented that another meeting occurred in 2011 that confirmed this plan. He commented that since then, there have not been any other meetings or any announcements to the Waimanalo Community for taking input from the community on what the plan did include. Chair Figliuzzi commented that this was unrelated to the items at hand. Matson commented that the issue is significant and is occurring at Ala Moana Park, and Chair Figliuzzi agreed to maintain the item for the record.
Ala Wai Canal and Ala Wai Golf Course Development: Resident Dave Watase provided the following update on the proposed Ala Wai flood control project:
??? State Legislature: Resident Watase reported that, as of the end of the 2019 Legislative Session on May 2, 2019, the State Legislature declined to approve the Governor's request for $125 million in matching funds for the US Army Corps of Engineers Ala Wai flood control project; and the Neighborhood Board Resolutions largely helped to achieve this outcome.
• Correspondence between Mayor Caldwell and Governor Ige: Resident Watase reported that, in a letter dated April 11, 2019, Mayor Caldwell indicated that he was willing to sign the required project partnership agreement and take responsibility on behalf of the City to operate and maintain the project, providing that the State contributes the $125 million in matching funds. In response, Governor Ige indicated in a letter dated April 18, 2019, that he is committed to fund the State's $125 million share and has approval to finance the debt service for two (2) years, and is willing to sign a sub-agreement for certificates for the $125 million on a deferred payment schedule. Resident Watase expressed concerns that this appears to be a potential path around the Legislature's decision not to fund the project.
??? United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE): Resident Watase reported that the USACE is seeking the project partnership agreement to be signed by June 28, 2019, has not put the project on hold as requested by seven (7) Neighborhood Boards, and is advancing exploratory work and engineering designs. He added that it is not clear that the project funding would be lost or the project would die if the partnership agreement is not executed by June 28, 2019, but it is known that the Congressional portion of the project funding does not expire. He commented that, to date, the Army Corps of Engineers has not indicated a willingness to make substantial changes to the project plans, and this would be necessary to satisfy the concerns of the affected communities, residents, and Neighborhood Boards.
• Alternatives: Resident Watase reported that ecosystem restoration and eco-friendly alternatives for flood mitigation are sought instead of the proposed detention basins destroying thousands of feet of precious valley streams.
• Moving forward: Resident Watase concluded that the focus of opposition to this project will now shift from the Legislature to the Mayor, City Council, Governor and Congressional Delegates. He commented that those interested can go to www.stopalawaiproject.com, where detailed information is posted with a pubic petition.
• Presentation: Chair Figliuzzi entered for the record a communication received from the USACE, informing the Board that Ala Wai flood control project information is available to be presented at Neighborhood Board meetings, and inviting the Board to contact them if this is of interest to the Board. Chair Figliuzzi recommended that the Board provide a forum for such a presentation by the Army Corps of Engineers, with the opportunity to share information and include other Neighborhood Boards and the interested and affected community with all their resources.
Questions, comments, and concerns following:
1. Public Relations Campaign: Resident Watase commented that this interaction has been needed, but presently the USACE is conducting a public relations campaign because their engagement with the community was required to have taken place during the proposed project's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) review from 2012 to 2015, and they are no longer accepting the community's comments because the EIS has been finalized. He noted that the Ala Moana/Kaka‘ako and Palolo Neighborhood Boards will be having the USACE presentation at their future meetings.
2. Joint Board Forum: Chair Figliuzzi commented that the Waikiki, McCully-Mo‘ili‘ili, Kaimuki and Manoa Neighborhood Boards could join the Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board forum for this presentation at the Ala Wai Golf Course Clubhouse, or elsewhere.
3. Permitted Interaction Groups (PIG): Resident Watase noted that the other Neighborhood Boards have formed Permitted Interaction Groups for this issue. Chair Figliuzzi agreed that this Board would do the same, and added that the Ala Wai Golf Course sewage water reclamation project placed on hold per the BWS report is significant information to consider.
4. Cumulative Development: Matson agreed that this is a major consideration given the proposed Ala Wai Canal flood control project's detention basin within the Ala Wai Golf Course and four(4)-to-five(5)-foot walls around the Ala Wai Canal, together with the proposed Topgolf entertainment center and any other Ala Wai Golf Course redevelopment. She added that a communication was received relating to a legal opinion indicating that the City likely violated Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §343 by coming to an agreement with the Topgolf developer prior to preparation of an Environmental Assessment or Impact Statement.
Parade Bill: Wong reported that Bill 8 CD 2, related to Parades, passed the City Council unanimously and it reduced the mayor waiver parades by three (3) and the Waikiki Special District parades by three (3). She commented that no limits were placed on Monserrat Avenue, despite the resolution passed by the Neigborhood Board.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: City Council: In response to the report, Matson observed that many community desires seem to be only partially met by the City Council.
Congressman Ed Case - Congressman Ed Case's Communications Director Nestor Garcia reported the following: Helicopter Concern Additions: Garcia reported that following the recent fatal crash, discussions with the FAA have shifted from nuisance to safety concerns. He commented that Congressman Case personally deals with the helicopter noise many times a day.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Out-of-State Donations: Vice Chair Narita expressed concerns with out-of-district and out-of-state donations to their elected official's campaigns, including Congressman Case's financial reports. He expressed concerns that this will negatively affect the representation of the community. Garcia responded that Congressman Case has supported measures to ensure more transparent donations. He commented that Congressman Case supported House Resolution 1, which has yet to be acted on in the Senate, which addressed issues surrounding ‘dark money,' donations. He clarified that this is where an entity acts as a front for some donors to anonymously donate to politicians. He commented that in regards to out-of district donations to Congressman Case, the Congressman maintains that he does not make decisions based on the whim of these donors.
2. Presence: Wong asked and Garcia responded that they will maintain a minimum quarterly presence to the Neighborhood Board meeting, adding that the office is open to attending more meetings to discuss specific community issues. Chair Figliuzzi requested a newsletter or written update, and Garcia responded that some correspondence/ continuity could be maintained.
Councilmember Ann Kobayashi - Cliff Kaneshiro distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
Council District 4: Kaneshiro expressed Councilmember Kobayashi's congratulations to Councilmember Waters on the election.
Council Calendar: Kaneshiro reported that Tuesday, May 14, 2019 will see Special Committee and Council Meetings. He reported that the regular committee meetings will occur on May, 21 through May 23, 2019. He reported that the next full council meeting will be on June 6, 2019. He commented that the newsletter highlights budget updates of concern to the district.
Maryknoll Basketball: Kaneshiro reported that their office recognizes the Maryknoll High School Basketball Team's victory at the State Championship.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Happy Mother's Day: Resident Armentrout extended Happy Mother's Day wishes to Councilmember Kobayashi and all present.
2. Parks and Public Policy: Matson expressed concerns about an event related to Wednesday, May 8, 2019 City Council meeting, and the leverage developers have with Councilmembers. She commented that this concern relates to public parks, including Honolulu's Kapi‘olani Park, Ala Moana Park and other legacy parks listed on the Register of Historic Places. She reported that there has been community opposition to five (5) elements proposed in the mayor's Ala Moana Park redevelopment plan, including a dog park, a one(1)-acre playground, a concrete promenade, a vast asphalt parking area consuming the Park's green open space, and excavation of adjacent surf spots for beach sand. She reported that Councilmember Kobayashi and the Council had developed a commendable resolution supporting the community's opposition to these redevelopment elements, and the Resolution was scheduled for adoption by City Council. She expressed concerns that this resolution was later eroded when Councilmember Kobayashi removed the unpopular carnival-type playground proposed for this legacy Park's registered historic open green space. Matson expressed concerns when a developer establishes a non-profit group to contribute and integrate an incompatible one (1)-acre carnival element within a legacy park to satisfy the tower developer's park dedication fee, which now portends to set a precedent for Kapiolani Park and other historic parks. In addition, she expressed concerns when a developer is allowed to negotiate the taking of public green open space for an incompatible use, as is also presently proposed for Ala Wai Golf Course.
Councilmember Tommy Waters - Councilmember Waters reported the following:
• Background: Councilmember Waters, as the newly elected Councilmember, provided his background for the Board and community.
• City Council Meeting: Councilmember Waters reported that he was sworn in on the previous day, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, before the Council meeting.
• Neighborhood Outreach: Councilmember Waters requested the Neighborhood Board and community members keep in touch with his office regarding community issues and provided his contact info: Phone: 768-5004 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Transient Vacation Units (TVU): Councilmember Waters requested thoughts on the Vacation Rentals in the community.
a. Figliuzzi: Chair Figliuzzi, speaking in the capacity as a member and not on behalf of the Board, expressed that he is not upset with TVUs in concept, commenting that those willing to operate them legally and responsibly within a system ought to be accommodated. He commented they provide a unique hospitality for tourists as well as providing a place to stay for off-island residents with families needing medical services. He commented that this specific type of property use ought to be provided in some manner. He commented that there he is concerned with those who are profiteering off of this model and are not responsible. Councilmember Waters asked and Chair Figliuzzi clarified that this is his position, and not the position of the Board.
b. Wong: Wong commented that Bill 89 should have been passed instead of Bill 85, commenting that residents do not want strangers in their neighborhoods. Wong added that the City Council seemd to be swayed by all the TVU operators at the Council meeting.
2. Bill 13 - Bulky Item and Trash Bill: Wong reported that she appreciated Councilmember Waters' commitment not to see any of the refuse/garbage bills passing. She commented that at a previous meeting, there were concerns with the proposed pilot program for bulky item pickup.
3. City Council Structure: Matson commented that the Planning Committee was merged into the Zoning and Housing Committee to become the Planning, Zoning, and Housing Committee. She asked if there were any other structural changes to the Honolulu City Council and Councilmember Waters responded that he is the Chair of the Public Safety Committee and the Vice Chair of the Planning, Zoning, and Housing Committee.
4. Testimony on Bill 85 and Bill 89: Councilmember Waters observed that many of the testifiers present at the Council meeting on Bill 85 and Bill 89 were those involved in the industry. He commented that many in support of the bills may have been working. He encouraged residents and Board members to testify. He commented that Bed and Breakfasts were already illegal, and that these bills would allow them to be permitted. He commented that the current Land Use Ordinance allows 30 day short term rentals, adding that many of them follow the law. He concluded that he is confident that the Council will finalize a bill that finds a balance between the concerns of the community and those involved in short term rentals.
5. Shower: St. Denis commented that the previous Councilmember Ozawa had been working with them to address concerns with the showers by the Diamond Head Natatorium, adding that appropriated funds for them. She added that they wanted to run the water from the shower into the park or into the sewer lines as opposed to the ocean.
6. Budget Items: Councilmember Waters requested budget related items be communicated to him as soon as possible.
7. Testimony on Bill 85 and Bill 89 (continued): Matson added that many of those testifying against Bill 85 and Bill 89 operate vacation rentals illegally.
Senator Stanley Chang - Senator Chang distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
• Helicopters - Senators' Letter: Senator Chang reported that he, Senator Thielen, Keohokalole, and Rivier requested the FAA ground all tour and helicopter operations until an investigation of the crash is completed.
• Legislation: Senator Chang summarized their Legislative efforts:
o Funding for District Elementary Schools (~$1.78 million): Waikiki Elementary School - $180,000 for ADA Compliance Funding; Wilson Elementary School - $100,000 for a walkway and outdoor student meeting areas; Kahala Elementary School - $1.5 million dollars for ADA Design and Construction.
o Funding for District High Schools (~4.8 million): Kaiser High School - $1 million for Athletic Locker Room Ceiling Repairs; Kalani High School - $3.8 million for Track Resurfacing and Bleachers.
o Bills: Senator Chang highlighted a few bills that were of interest to the community, adding that in an in-depth bill summary will be provided at the next meeting. He reported that House Bill (HB) 807 that would make is illegal to lie to a DPP inspector, which was drafted to help enforce against illegal vacation rentals.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Helicopter Noise - Hawaii Kai: Matson asked and Senator Chang responded that worked with Hawaii Kai???s Neighborhood Board on this issue, commenting that the Senate District he represents encompasses about 60% of Hawaii Kai.
2. Coordination: Chair Figliuzzi commented the multi-neighborhood response to issues like the Ala Wai Canal ought to be practiced for Helicopter Noise and other issues that impact multiple neighborhoods.
Senator Les Ihara Jr. - Chair Figliuzzi reported that Senator Ihara communicated that he would be absent for the meeting; No representative was present and no report was given.
Representative Bertram Kobayashi: Representative Kobayashi distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
• Kapiolani Community College (KCC) - Culinary Institute of the Pacific: Representative Kobayashi reported that KCC raised $10 million from the private sector, which automatically appropriates the matching $20 million from the State to fund the Culinary Institute of the Pacific. Representative Kobayashi commented that because funding is available for both Phase 2A and Phase 2B, the bidding process can now begin.
• Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) - Diamond Head Tunnels: Representative Kobayashi reported that there is $1 million for the Diamond Head Kapahulu Tunnel. Diamond Head has received over 1 million visitors for three (3) years, and there is now safety issues in the tunnel due to pedestrian and vehicular traffic along the same roadway. He added that there are often too many individuals on the path up to Diamond Head. This appropriation represents the first of many improvements to Kapahulu Tunnel, beginning with letting pedestrians enter Diamond Head Crater through the Kapahulu Tunnel. Chair Figliuzzi asked and Representative Kobayashi responded that there are two (2) tunnels into Diamond Head Crater: The Kahala Tunnel and the Kapahulu Tunnel, the latter of which is not accessible until the improvement project is implemented. Afterwards, these two tunnels will be dedicated for vehicles and pedestrians, respectively. He commented that there are further improvements/phases which include a visitor drop off area intended for commercial vehicles and later to serve as a parking area.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Concerns with Committee Referral Matson expressed concerns with the committee bill referral process at the State Legislature, commenting that several community issue bills, including the Lei of Green intiative, were given quadruple referrals, commenting that Representative Cullen refused to hear certain bills. Matson asked and Representative Kobayashi responded that the Bill committee assignments are formally assigned by the Speaker of the House and the Senate President in their respective chambers. He commented that the two (2) individuals involved with this process in the House are the Speaker of the House, Scott Saiki, and Majority Leader, Della Au Belatti. He added that individual Chairs can and often times do recommend that a particular bill be or not be referred to their committee. Matson asked and Representative Kobayashi responded that Cullen is the Vice Chair of Finance.
State Representative Scott Nishimoto: Kevan Wong of Representative Nishimoto's Office distributed a newsletter and report and requested any feedback from the Board members and community. No comments or questions were made.
House Speaker Emiretus (HSE) Calvin Say: HSE Say distributed a newsletter and requested feedback from the Board and community.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. HECO Projects: Vice Chair Narita expressed appreciation with HSE Say's efforts in regards to the recent HECO utility pole projects.
2. Italian Ambassador: Chair Figliuzzi expressed appreciation for HSE Say's welcoming of Italy's Ambassador to the U.S. Armando Varricchio and his wife Micaela.
Ocean Water Quality: Chair Figliuzzi expressed concerns with ocean water quality due to recent concerns that have been raised in the community. He commented that a PIG should be formed to address these concerns.
PUBLIC EVENTS AND NOTICES
3014 Ho'olai Street: A resident expressed concerns with a neglected home at 3014 Ho'olai Street.
Planning and Zoning: A report was submitted for the record by Chair Matson:
• Specific to the community concern presented at the April Board meeting relating to a residential slope tram on Diamond Head, this issue was researched at the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP), where it was confirmed that the shoreline setback permit was denied by the City and the project would not be completed to the beach.
• Presently there is a pending building permit to complete half the slope tram run, and the DPP's denial of the shoreline permit has been appealed by the property owner.
• If the city's denial of the permit is reversed and the slope tram is allowed to continue to the beach, the property owner may be subject to the Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Statement review process.
• Given these findings the Board might consider delaying adoption of a Resolution on the matter.
Parks and Recreation: Laura St. Denis reported DPR will be replacing the five (5) kiawe trees with shower trees. The promenade on the ocean side was out, but the lights are back on. St. Denis reported that she spoke with DLNR's Susanne Case about the Ala Wai, expressing concerns with the flood risks with the Ala Wai. She commented that the City Council said at a recent meeting encouraged those who have concerns with the sea wall to contact DLNR and communicate with them directly. Chair Figliuzzi commented that some focused PIGs must be formed to address these concerns.
Permitted Interaction Groups
Matson moved and Persons seconded to form three (3) separate Permitted Interaction Groups pertaining to Tour Helicopter Safety and Noise Impacts, Neighborhood Monster Houses and Vacation Rentals, and Ala Wai Canal and Ala Wai Golf Course Development, respectively. The motion WAS ADOPTED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT; 10-0-0 (AYE: Allen, Bhatt, Figliuzzi, Matson, Miller, Narita, Kamahele, Persons, St. Denis, and Wong. NAY: None. ABSTAIN: None.)
Membership: It was determined that membership of the PIGs would be determined in the next term.
Next Regular Board Meeting: The next regular Board meeting will be at Ala Wai Club House on Thursday, June 13, 2019.
ADJOURNMENT: As there was no further business before the Board, Chair West adjourned the meeting at 9:15 p.m.
Submitted by: Thomas Baldwin, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Janelle Nomura, Neighborhood Assistant
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