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Kaimuki Neighborhood Board Meeting FEBRUARY 2022 Minutes
Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4
February 2022 Minutes
DRAFT REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2022
CALL TO ORDER - Chair Schneider called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Quorum was established with nine (9) members present. Note - This 11-member Board requires six (6) members to establish a quorum and to take official Board action.
Board Members Present - Sharon Schneider, Paul Hoe, Brian Kang, Becky Gardner, Travis Saito, and Lori Yamada.
Board Members Absent - Joyce Murakami, Molly Pierce, Jason DeMarco, Reyn Kaupiko.
Guests - Bryan Kimura (State Department of Transportation), Senator Stanley Chang, Firefighter Brandon Chow; Lieutenant Taro Nakamura (Honolulu Police Department); Mark D. Wong (Mayor Rick Blangiardi's Representative); Lorna Heller (Board of Water Supply); Cory Chun and Jarel Denny (Office of Council Chair Tommy Waters), Councilmember Calvin Say; Jackson Sayama (State House Representative, District 20), Carol Hoshiko (Kapiolani Community College), Steve Yuen (3650 Waialae); Residents Kelsie Aguilera, Zoe Finn, Amy Hennessey, Eric McCutcheon, Kim Yuen, Christine Otto Zaa; and Thomas Baldwin (Neighborhood Commission Office). 37 participants were in attendance.
FILLING OF BOARD VACANCY: Chair Schneider listed two (2) open vacancies in Sub-district 1. No members volunteered.
CITY MONTHLY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) - Firefighter Brandon Chow read the following report:
January 2022 Statistics: There were 9 activated alarms, 74 medical emergencies, 1 motor vehicle collision with pedestrian, and 7 motor vehicle collisions, and 1 ocean rescue..
Safety Tip: Firefighter Han shared safety tips encouraging house numbers to be readily visible from the street to aid emergency responders.
Questions, comments and concerns followed: Pedestrian Collision: Chair Schneider asked and Firefighter Chow responded that the pedestrian collision was in the Kaimuki area.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) - Lieutenant Taro Nakamura read the following report:
January 2022 Statistics: There were 19 motor vehicle thefts, 19 burglaries, 51 thefts, and 21 UEMVs, and 7143 calls for service. Statistics can be found at www.honolulupd.org.
Safety Tip: Lieutenant Nakamura shared tsunami safety tips. More information can be found at www.honolulu.gov/dem.
Board of Water Supply (BWS) - Lorna Heller reported the following:
Water Main Break: There were four (4) water main breaks on January 4, 2022, January 13, 2022, January 20, 2022 and January 28, 2022, respectively.
Bill Payment Options: Heller reported that BWS subscribers will no longer be able to pay water bills at the bank, but all other bill pay options are still available.
Red Hill: Heller reported that customers have been asked to visit the BWS website to get updates on Red Hill.
Traffic: Resident Susan Imai expressed concerns with traffic by Kaimuki Middle School.
Red Hill Sign-waving: Resident Susan Imai discussed Red Hill Sign-waving at Pacific Fleet Headquarters.
Sterling Higa, Executive Director, Housing Hawaii's Future - Making Housing Affordable for Local Families: Executive Director Sterling Higa gave a presentation and reported the following:
Affordability: Higa discussed the younger generation's difficulty in affording to live in Hawai'i. He discussed the consequences of the high cost of living including homelessness, brain drain, aging population, and economic inequality.
Barriers: Higa commented that barriers to affordable housing include underlying economics, politics and bureaucracy, and NIMBY opposition.
Housing Hawaii's Future: Higa reported that the Housing Hawaii's Future organization is a multigenerational movement lead by young locals who believe the housing crisis is driven by a lack of inventory, with a broad mandate to end the housing crisis by creating a sense of urgency, to bring stakeholders together to build consensus, and to change the fundamental policy environment. He discussed strategies for further engagement.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL): Gardner discussed the difficulty to afford housing. She asked and Higa responded that allocating funds to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) will be able to build more homes. He discussed the need for sustained funding to DHHL.
2. Tiny Homes: Gardner asked about the viability of tiny homes and Higa responded that tiny homes are one (1) portion of a broader housing portfolio that should be pursued.
3. Varying Spending Priorities: Resident Sharon expressed concerns with the spending priorities of younger generations and Higa discussed the systemic pressures on younger generations. Resident Sharon emphasized her concern that younger generations should adjust their budgets.
4. Education: Resident Carol Hoshiko discussed accommodations for first timer homeowners, and Higa discussed organizations that provide homeowner oriented education. He commented that there are segments of the community that are not receiving or aware of these opportunities. He commented that Housing Hawaii's Future would like to contribute to this education where possible. Hoshiko asked about homeowner responsibilities and Higa discussed the organizations that provide this type of education like Habitat for Humanity.
Foster Care and "I Belong" Project Pilina of the Partners In Development Foundation Brandon Kim: Project Pilina Oahu Community Liaison Brandon Kim gave a presentation and reported the following:
Foster Care in Hawai'i: Kim reported that 1500 children are currently in foster care statewide, with 48% of those on Oahu. He discussed the age distribution of foster children, concluding that children from newborns to teenagers are affected.
Events: Kim discussed upcoming community outreach efforts during March 2022. These events included the statewide art contest "I Belong" open to students K-12 celebrating foster care in Hawai'i, 2022 Hawaii Spring Keiki Fashion Week from February 27, 2022 to March 5, 2022, and the Wet'n'Wild Hawaii After Party.
Resolution Concerning City Council Bill 41 (2021) (CD1): Yamada read the resolution and discussion followed:
Concerns with Bill 41 and the Gold Coast: Resident Edward Wels, the author of the resolution, discussed his concerns with Bill 41, commenting that the bill would make the Gold Coast eligible for vacation rentals. He discussed the potential negative impacts to Kaimuki residents that could follow. He discussed the drafting of the resolution and commented that the resolution asks the city council to remove the gold coast from Bill 41.
Neighborhood Board Responses: Kang asked if this resolution was presented to the Waikiki Neighborhood Board and Wels responded that there was not enough time to place it on their agenda. He commented that it was brought before the Diamond Head Neighborhood Board No. 5, which passed the resolution unanimously.
Amendment to Bill 41: Janel Denny from Councilmember Say's office reported that, during the Diamond Head Neighborhood Board No. 5 meeting, it was announced by Council Chair Waters' Office that an amendment would be introduced to remove the Gold Coast from Bill 41. Chair Schneider discussed simplifying the language of the resolution. Wels clarified that, currently, only a non-conforming use certificate can allow for vacation rentals on the Gold Coast. He added that this bill would allow for around 700 units on the Gold Coast to be used as a vacation rental.
Resolution Support: Resident Roger Lucas expressed support for the resolution, urging access to the park and oceans. He added that vacation rentals in the Gold Coast might limit this access. He requested area Councilmembers to discuss their position on the Bill.
Impacts of the Bill: Gardner asked about Councilmember thoughts on the Bill. Resident Wels reported that Council Chair Waters is in favor of striking the Gold Coast language from Bill 41. He discussed his communication efforts with other Councilmembers. Councilmember Say responded that the provision was not initiated by the City Council, and discussed his desire to hear both sides of the issue. Wels expressed concerns with the potential overcrowding of the Gold Coast should the bill pass. Resident Christine Otto Zaa commented that the Gold Coast is an apartment district, expressing concerns that the zoning would effectively be changed if the bill passed as written. Chair Schneider asked about how property owners in the Gold Coast obtain the non-conforming use permits and Resident Zaa clarified that those who already have non-conforming use permits will not be affected by this bill. Councilmember Say reported that he will hear out the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) testimony regarding the position to include the Gold Coast in Bill 41. He discussed the difficulty faced by the DPP and the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services (BFS) regarding the property taxes of those who have non-conforming use permits in the Gold Coast.
Resolution Language: Gardner commented that she liked the intent of the resolution, but expressed concerns with the draft language. Resident Edward Wels reported that the committee meets on March 3, 2022 adding that there might not be enough time to pass a resolution after tonight.
Gardner MOVED for the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4 to place this on the agenda for the following meeting. Vice Chair Hoe clarified that requesting an item on the agenda for the next meeting does not require a motion.
Information and diagrams at this link: https://bit.ly/KaimukiNBMeeetingFlyers
Kaimuki Parking Lots Repaving: Chair Schneider announced that the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) will be repaving the parking lots for three (3) Kaimuk parks: Petrie Park, February 7, 2022 - February 8, 2022; Wai'alae Beach Park, February 7, 2022 - February 12, 2022; Kilauea Park, February 14, 2022 - February, 25, 2022
Discussion regarding Senate Bill (SB) 3176 and SB 2580 related to large dwelling units in residential areas:
Legislation: Resident Christine Otto Zaa discussed legislation (SB3176 and SB24580) introduced by State Senator Stanley Chang to increase density in residential districts. Senator Stanley Chang reported on his legislation initiative, including the following: addressing housing shortages to take State-owned lands near the rail stations to develop high density housing; funding to HPHA to rehabilitate 264 empty units to be in compliance with federal health and safety standards; designating state owned lands along the rail as important housing lands; and gender equity for restrooms in public amusement facilities. Chair Schneider requested comments regarding SB3176 and SB2580.
SB 3176: Chair Schneider asked and Senator Chang clarified that the language of SB3176 is permissive, not prescriptive; he clarified that the bill would allow, not force, each county to construct four (4) dwelling units on land zoned where single-family dwelling units are permitted.
SB 2580: Chair Schneider asked and Senator Chang clarified that SB 2580 would not prohibit the building of up to 10 housing units on any lot where a residential dwelling unit is permitted, in compliance with existing requirements. Chair Schneider asked and Senator Chang responded that up to 10 units could be permitted in an R-5 zoned area, so long as no existing requirements are violated. Christine Otto Zaa asked Senator Chang to clarify the purpose of SB 2580 if construction must still meet existing requirements. Senator Chang clarified that his vision of solving the housing crisis involves constructing many high density housing units on state owned land. He commented that other solutions he does not prefer have been proposed involving collaboration with the private sector, and discussed the history of similar legislation in other states and cities. He emphasized the importance of this type of discussion in the national housing shortage issue.
Monster Homes: Resident Kelsie Aguilera expressed concerns with a misalignment between legislation inspired by mainland legislation and the realities of Hawaii's housing issues. Resident Aguilera asked about Senator Chang's stance on monster homes, commenting that these bills seem to promote them. Senator Chang responded that he does not support monster homes, as they negatively alter the character of neighborhoods, clarifying that the state ought to meet the growing demand for housing as opposed to private developers. Resident Aguilera discussed Kaimuki's challenges with monster homes, commenting that high level elected officials typically defer issues regarding zoning to city and county officials. She asked Senator Chang to clarify the role of the State in land use and zoning, and how these bills pertain to them. Senator Chang responded that there ought to be a balance between County and State authority regarding land use. He concluded that setting aside State-owned parcels for high-density housing would meet dramatically growing housing demands, thereby reducing the demand for multiple dwelling units in neighborhoods like Kaimuki.
Carrying Capacity: Resident Barbara DeBary expressed concerns with development not keeping the carrying capacity of the islands in mind. She urged Senator Chang to conserve open space in housing solutions. Chair Schnieder commented that solutions ought not give developers blanket permission to bend the rules to their benefit but to the detriment of the community.
Growing Demand for Housing: Senator Chang commented that the current growing demand for housing would drastically alter current neighborhoods if development continued as it is. He concluded that an effective solution ought to take the pressure of meeting that demand away from existing residential neighborhoods. Gardner asked about where the demand for housing stems from and Senator Chang responded that local housing production does not meet local demand.
ELECTED OFFICIALS' REPORTS
Mayor Rick Blangiardi's Representative - Director of Department of Information Technology Mark D. Wong reported the following: Project 14-D: Wong reported that, regarding Project 14-D, bid documents will be ready to advertise in the first quarter of 2022 and advertisement is pending approval from the BFS. A consultant has completed geotechnical investigation and is currently working on reprofiling Wilhelmina Rise between Waialae Avenue and 1357 Wilhelmina Rise for 6-in curb reveal restoration, which includes reconstructing driveways, lowering curb ramps at the Keanu Street intersection, and removing the existing crosswalk there. This project was also submitted to State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) in January for concurrence of determination that no historic properties are affected.
Questions, comments and concerns followed:
1. Potholes: Resident Kelsie Aguilera asked and Chair Schneider responded that Project 14-D includes the 3600 block of Sierra Drive. Aguilera requested temporary patching of the potholes, and Wong recommended the resident report potholes with the Honolulu 3-1-1 app.
2. Trash Pickup: Gardner expressed concerns with a resident spraying potentially hazardous materials on his trash cans to keep pests away. Gardner requested that Department of Environmental Services (ENV) staff be warned about potentially dangerous substances during trash pickup.
City Council Chair Tommy Waters - Cory Chun of City Council Chair Tommy Waters' Office gave a report, which included the following:
Bill 41: Chun reported that Council Chair Waters is in support of removing the Gold Coast language from Bill 41 and discussed the potential origins of that language in the bill. He commented that their office has not seen testimony in support of the Gold Coast language, and will likely propose an amendment to remove it. He concluded that Bill 41 is complex, and requested anyone interested to submit testimony.
Monster Homes: Chun discussed Council Chair Waters' efforts to curb monster home development, including legislation to address setbacks, bathroom and wetbar amendments, and off-street parking requirements. He discussed compliance issues as well as community concerns with questionable permits still being issued. He commented that their office introduced Resolution 2215 requesting cooperation with the DPP to develop effective solutions.
Councilmember Calvin Say (City Council District 5): Councilmember Say submitted a report, discussed the importance of the housing dialogue during the meeting, and requested concerns from the community.
Governor David Ige's Representative - No representative was present. No report was given.
Senator Stanley Chang - Senator Chang reported the following:
Legislation (continued from page 3): Senator Chang discussed proposed legislation including: providing an annual mental health check ups as an essential health benefit in health insurance plans; and establishing a continuous legislative session at the State Legislature.
Housing Day Presentation: Senator Chang announced the Housing Day Presentation on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at 1:00 p.m.
Questions, comments, and concerns: Seagulls Day Care Center: Gardner expressed concerns with the closing of the Seagull's Child Day Care Center due to issues with the parking structure and Councilmember Say responded that the parking structure needed repairs. Director Wong commented that this is a safety issue and would not be worth delaying, commenting that a total demolition and complete rebuild might be necessary to water damage.
Senator Les Ihara, Jr.: No representative was present; no report was given.
Representative Jackson Sayama:
Corruption Cases: Representative Sayama condemned the actions of two former legislators involved in corruption, and discussed the actions by the Legislature to create a commission to improve campaign spending finance laws as well as other corruption related issues.
Vaccine Rules at the Capitol: Representative Sayama discussed the updated vaccine policy for the Capitol in anticipation of public opening on March 7, 2022.
Legislation: HB1860 Representative Sayama discussed the movement of his legislation through the Legislature, including legislation related to the following: HB1860 related to catalytic converter theft, HB2277 related to promoting surfing in DOE High Schools, as surfing is a sanctioned sport in the state; HB6999 related to increased funding for afterschool programs; and HB2278 related to carbon cash back. He discussed three (3) resolutions, two (2) of which are related to fireworks.
Vice Chair Hoe commented that the Board has reached their two (2) hour time limit.
Representative Bert Kobayashi: Representative Kobayashi reported the following: Commission related to Corruption: Representative Kobayashi reported on the newly appointed committee to improve conduct, discussing the qualifications of appointed members of the commission. He discussed the expectation of two (2) reports to be produced by the commission in March 2022 and December 2022, respectively. He commented that some recommendations might be voted on this year. He commented that recommended reforms might be very significant.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Corruption: Gardner discussed a potential Board resolution related to corruption.
2. Catalytic Converter Theft: Gardner urged legislation to address catalytic converter theft.
3. A+ Program: Gardner urged sustained funding for child care organizations like A+.
United States Representative Ed Case: No representative was present, no report was given.
Report of Planning and Zoning Permitted Interaction Group (PIG): No report was given. Chair Schneider commented that the Board may consider creating a committee related to Planning and Zoning.
Approval of the Wednesday, January 12, 2022 Draft Regular Meeting Minutes
Yamada MOVED and Hoe SECONDED to approve the Wednesday, January 12, 2022, Draft Regular Meeting Minutes. The motion WAS ADOPTED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT (6-0-0).
Treasurer's Report - No report was given.
Members' Attendance at Other Meetings: No report was given.
Next Meeting: The next Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4 Regular Meeting is scheduled on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. in person and / or Zoom Application.
ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 8:38 p.m.
Submitted by: Thomas Baldwin, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Robert Whitsell, Deputy
Reviewed by: Lori Yamada, Secretary
Final approval by: Sharon Schneider, Chair
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