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Diamond Head Neighborhood Board Meeting JANUARY 2023 Minutes
DIAMOND HEAD/KAPAHULU/SAINT LOUIS HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD NO. 5
January 2023 Minutes
DRAFT REGULAR MINUTES
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2023
ALA WAI CLUB HOUSE AND VIA WEBEX TELECONFERENCING
Video recordings of Regular Meetings may be found at:
CALL TO ORDER - Vice Chair Whitsell called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Quorum was established with four (4) members present at the Ala Wai Club House and seven (7) members present via Webex Application, total of 11 members. Note - This 15-member Board requires eight (8) members to establish a quorum and to take official Board action. Board members must be in-person or have video access to establish quorum.
Board Members Present: Julia Allen, Rafia Hasina (arrived at 6:24 p.m.), Margaret Murchie, Bertram Narita, Bruce Wong, John Beutel, Winston Welch, Dylan Whitsell, George West, Michelle Matson (arrived at 6:03 p.m.), Don Persons (via phone), Laura St. Denis, Linda Wong, and Arleen Velasco (appointed during meeting).
Board Members Absent: Wendell Murakawa.
Guests: Lieutenant Nakamura, Lieutenant Toma, and Sergeant Lipka (Honolulu Police Department); Anton Krucky (Department of Community Services); Kathleen Pahinui (Board of Water Supply); Carol Hoshiko (Kapiolani Community College); Frank Floyd (Mid-Pacific Road Runner Club); Amanda Zepeda (Council Chair Tommy Waters' office); Brandon Sekiya and Janel Denny (Councilmember Calvin Say's office); Representative Jackson Sayama; Theresa Ng (Senator Stanley Chang's office); Isaiah Sato (R. M. Towill Corporation); Matthew Yang (Hawaiian Telecom); Alec Harrison, Angie Knight, Betty T., C. Watanabe, Daisy Murai, David T., Frank Floyd, Joannie Dobbs, Keolu Peralto, Laura Ruby, Melvia Kawashima, Noah Grodzin, Wesley Stozkstill, Raymond and Brittany deVre, and Noela, (Residents); Jackson Coley (Neighborhood Commission Office). Names not included will not be provided.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Chair: [6:02 p.m.] St. Denis nominated Whitsell and Whitsell accepted the nomination.
Narita moved [6:02 p.m.] and Welch seconded to close nominations, hearing no objections the nominations were closed by unanimous consent. [6:03 p.m.]
Board Member Michelle Matson joined the meeting at 6:03 p.m. 12 members present.
Whitsell was appointed Chair by Majority Vote; 11-0-1 (AYE: Allen, Murchie, Narita, B. Wong, Beutel, Welch, West, Matson, Persons, St. Denis, and L. Wong; NAY: None; ABSTAIN: Whitsell). [6:03 p.m.]
FILLING OF VACANCY
One (1) Vacancy Sub-District 3: [6:07 p.m.] L. Wong nominated resident Arleen Velasco and Velasco accepted the nomination.
Arleen Velasco was appointed to the Board by Unanimous Vote; 12-0-0 (AYE: Allen, Murchie, Narita, B. Wong, Beutel, Welch, West, Whitsell, Matson, Persons, St. Denis, and L. Wong; NAY: None; ABSTAIN: None). [6:08 p.m.]
Chair Whitsell called a Recess at 6:11 p.m. for the Oath of Office to be administered to Velasco.
Velasco took the Oath of Office; 13 members present.
Chair Whitsell called the Board back to order at 6:13 p.m.
PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): [6:14 p.m.] [6:29 p.m.] No representative was present.
Honolulu Police Department District 6: [6:14 p.m.] Lieutenant Toma reported the following December 2022 statistics: 7 robberies, 12 burglaries, 165 thefts, 31 unauthorized entries of motor vehicles (UEMV), 43 assaults, 5 sex crimes, 22 bicycles/skateboards on sidewalks, 8 speeding violations, 1,922 parking violations, 1 loud muffler violation, 105 park-closure citations, 6 park-closure arrests, and 4,020 total calls for service.
Questions, comments, and concerns: Resident Murai and L. Wong asked about tow trucks and the rules for towing. Lieutenant Toma responded that tow truck rules depend on whether the land is private or public. L. Wong asked and Lieutenant Toma responded that private parking violations are handled by the property's manager. St. Denis reported a truck obstructing rubbish removal and Lieutenant Toma recommended calling HPD during the violation.
Honolulu Police Department District 7: [6:21 p.m.] Lieutenant Nakamura reported the following December 2022 statistics: 16 motor vehicle thefts, 15 burglaries, 29 thefts, 12 UEMV and 8,464 total calls for service. Residents are reminded that jaywalking is illegal and to exercise caution when crossing roadways.
Questions, comments, and concerns: Chair Whitsell asked if jaywalking is legal when there are no crosswalks in a set distance. Lieutenant Nakamura responded yes; however, he did not have the distance on hand. Welch asked what lane motorized skateboards and stand-up scooters should drive in. Lieutenant Nakamura responded these devices are not currently regulated and there is ongoing discussion about where they should operate. Velasco asked about double-occupancy on scooters and mopeds. Lieutenant Nakamura responded it is illegal on mopeds but legal on some scooters with white license plates. Velasco asked about double-occupancy on stand-up motor scooters and Lieutenant Nakamura responded this is an illegal activity.
Board Member Rafia Hasina joined the meeting at 6:24 p.m. 14 members present.
CITY AND STATE ADMINISTRATION REPORTS
Mayor Rick Blangiardi's Office: [6:29 p.m.] Anton Krucky, Department of Community Services (DCS) Director, reported:
• The City finalized the purchase of the Waikiki Vista and potential usages are being considered.
• Non-profits can apply for special grants to recover from the impacts of Covid-19.
• There have been multiple personnel updates in the City departments.
• The Mayor's newsletter is available at https://www.oneoahu,org/newsletter.
• To explore City and County of Honolulu careers visit https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/honolulu.
• Register for the 2023 Neighborhood Board Election online at https://web1.hnl.info/nbe.
• The Department of Urban Forestry (DUF) will inspect reported trees on Leahi Avenue.
• The outdoor dining program was launched on October 10, 2022. Applicants must obtain conditional permits from the Department of Transportation Services (DTS) and then obtain liquor permits to serve alcohol.
• An abandoned railing was removed from Makalei Beach Park.
• DTS received complaints regarding a business reserving parking for their customers in a public parking lot. DTS will investigate and take action as warranted.
Questions, comments, and concerns: Resident Murai voiced concerns with hotels being built in Downtown-Chinatown. Director Krucky responded that investors are interested in the area and that increased activity in an area can reduce crime. Resident Noela asked if the railing at Makalei will be replaced and if the sidewalk will be reinforced. Director Krucky responded the railing has not been replaced and agreed to refer. St, Denis advocated for reinstalling parking in front of the Leahi community garden. Krucky agreed to refer the comments.
Velasco requested street sweeping be resumed for Leahi Avenue. Murchie reported multiple dead naupaka plants along Diamond Head Road. Murchie voiced opposition to Complete Streets Ala Wai Boulevard. Murchie advocated for legislation to control noise. Welch asked and Director Krucky responded that non-emergency calls for homeless outreach can be sent to 808-768-CORE. B. Wong suggested removed buses from Hotel Street and turning the street into a walking mall, Director Krucky agreed to refer the suggestion. Resident Noela reported an obstructed speeding sign near Makalei Beach Park and Director Krucky agreed to refer. Matson asked about Mayor Blangiardi's property tax plans. Director Krucky clarified that property assessments went up which affected taxes.
Board of Water Supply (BWS): [6:57 p.m.] Kathleen Pahinui reported no main breaks in December 2022. BWS is participating in a Building Improvement Association show at the Blaisdell. BWS launched a residential toilet rebate program. BWS is working on fencing and plants around the Diamond Head reservoir.
Questions, comments, and concerns: Velasco asked and Pahinui responded that BWS does not assess sewers, sewers are under the Department of Environmental Services (ENV). Velasco asked and Pahinui responded that developers tell BWS how many people a new development will service, then BWS checks if they are within capacity. Pahinui clarified that BWS cannot stop a project from being built due to water needs without extenuating circumstances. Velasco requested an update regarding Red Hill. Pahinui responded the BWS is trying to get data from the Navy, however the Navy will only provide data if other regulators require it. Pahinui reported an upcoming meeting about the topic and recommended emailing testimony to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Murchie voiced concerns regarding the Kuilei project and Pahinui clarified the BWS grants deferrals not exemptions.
Kapiolani Community College (KCC): [7:09 p.m.] Carol Hoshiko, KCC, provided a presentation and reported on the Culinary Institute of the Pacific's ongoing work. There is an upcoming event on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at the Hawaii Theater sponsored by the Culinary Institute of the Pacific.
Questions, comments, and concerns: Resident Ruby suggested planting trees in the new Culinary Institute's footprint. Hoshiko responded the facilities team is looking into it. Hoshiko announced the next culinary town hall meeting is on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Resident Noela advocated for renaming the Cannon Club after 9/11 victim Heather Malia-Hoe. Hoshiko responded there are naming opportunities for different rooms at the facility.
RESIDENTS INTERESTS AND NEIGHBORHOOD CONCERNS [7:22 p.m.]
Mid-Pacific Road Runners Club: Frank Floyd announced two (2) upcoming foot races. The first is on Sunday, January 22, 2023. The second is on Sunday, February 5, 2023.
Kuilei Housing Project: Resident Ruby and Matson voiced concerns regarding the planned Kuilei housing project. Both voiced concerns with affordable housing not really being affordable. Matson advocated for holding a Special Board meeting to discuss the Kuilei project.
Council Chair Tommy Waters: [7:33 p.m.] Amanda Zepeda reported the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services (BFS) provided the Council with information about property taxes and assessments. The Council is working to address concerns.
Questions, comments, and concerns: B. Wong advocated for freezing property taxes and Zepeda responded that Council Chair Waters shares these concerns. Welch requested that Council Chair Waters and his staff attend the Board's meetings. Zepeda responded that Waters intends to attend. Matson asked about new Council Committee schedules and asked if the Kapiolani Park Trustees have an upcoming meeting. Zepeda agreed to investigate.
Councilmember Calvin Say: [7:41 p.m.] Brandon Sekiya reported no major updates and opened the floor to questions.
Questions, comments, and concerns: Resident Ruby advocated for using park closures and citations to remove people from parks. Resident Ruby voiced opposition to the Ala Pono Bridge. Resident Murai asked about plans for the Ala Wai Golf-course. Sekiya agreed to investigate. Murchie asked about a rumored housing project and Sekiya responded he was unsure about the rumors. Matson voiced concerns regarding the Primary Urban Center Development Plan (PUC-DP) and plans to build multi-unit residential buildings on Kapahulu Avenue. Matson asked about Bill 10 and Sekiya and his colleague, Janel Denny, responded they were unsure. B. Wong voiced concerns regarding property taxes. Denny clarified that the Council is not trying to raise property taxes and that there is a need for additional funding. Allen reported the date for the next St. Louis Heights Community Association meeting.
Representative Bertrand Kobayashi: [7:54 p.m.] No representative, no report.
Representative Jackson Sayama: [7:55 p.m.] Representative Sayama reported that the 2023 Legislative Session begins next week. Representative Sayama will Vice Chair the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee. Representative Sayama's office is working on a housing project in Kaimuki to redevelop the Queen Liliuokalani Elementary School property. Considerations are being made to change from a gasoline tax to a road usage charge to maintain roads. Schools are working to create a regulatory framework for more school psychologists.
Senator Stanley Chang: [8:00 p.m.] Theresa Ng reported a newsletter is available online at www.senatorchang.com. This Legislative Session Senator Chang will Chair the Housing Committee and the Water and Land Committee.
Questions, comments, and concerns: Welch requested that Senator Chang look at housing and the 201H process and voiced concerns regarding the 201H process and how it affects neighborhoods. Theresa agreed to refer.
Senator Les Ihara, Jr.: [8:07 p.m.] No representative, no report.
BOARD BUSINESS & PRESENTATIONS
Update: Waikiki Shell Improvements Project: [8:08 p.m.] Isaiah Sato, R. M. Towill Corporation, provided an update for the Waikiki Shell Improvements Project. A Special Management Area (SMA) application will be submitted in the upcoming weeks. All improvements are limited to the Waikiki Shell area and do not extend to the parking lot or park. Planned improvements include replacing signage, replacing the concession stand, replacing seats, expanding fixed seating, replacing the sound bunker, and installing sound baffles at the back of the lawn. The original plans to add a tensile structure over the seating area has been removed from the project.
Questions, comments, and concerns: Resident Ruby and Resident Noela advocated for expanding women's restrooms. Sato responded that restrooms were expanded in 2008 and bands can provide additional restrooms. Resident Murai asked where new seats will be and Sato responded the design is still in the conceptual phase. Resident Murai suggested not blocking the lawn's view. L. Wong asked and Sato clarified that they removed the previously planned overhead cover for the seating area, a back sidewalk may receive a pedestrian covering. L. Wong recommended narrowing the rows between fixed seating to prevent people from dancing. Sato agreed to refer the comment. L. Wong advocated for not raising seating. L. Wong claimed termites are present and Sato responded there are no termites currently. Matson voiced support for the planned changes, specifically not covering the seating. Welch voiced concerns with foot traffic obstructing seat views and recommended redirecting traffic to flow in behind seating. Welch voiced opposition to any raised seating. Welch asked if there will be electrical and plumbing upgrades. Sato reported there was a stage improvement project some years ago and stage improvements will not be part of this project. Welch asked and Sato responded a sound study for the back baffling has not been performed yet. Murchie advocated for wider seats. B. Wong asked about roosting pigeons and Sato agreed to refer.
Primary Urban Center Development and Sustainable Communities Resolution: [8:35 p.m.] Matson reported that a Joint Committee meeting was held to form the resolution "Resolution Relating to Sustainable Community Plans, Primary Urban Center Development, and Ensuring the Protection of Kapahulu, St. Louis Heights and Diamond Head as Established Historic and Sustainable Communities." Welch reported there are eight (8) sustainable communities around Oahu which are not slated for urban growth and advocated for moving the Board area to the East Honolulu SCP. Welch stated the Board area is more similar to East Honolulu than Moili ili and Makiki. B. Wong and L. Wong voiced agreement with the resolution. Matson advocated for adopting the resolution. Chair Whitsell asked and Matson clarified that during the November 2022 Board meeting the Board passed a motion supporting this concept, but a formal resolution was not available until this meeting.
Murchie moved and L. Wong seconded the Motion to adopt the resolution. [8:48 p.m.]
Discussion: Beutel voiced opposition and stated the Board area is more diverse than the resolution makes it appear.
The Motion WAS ADOPTED by MAJORITY VOTE; 12-2-0 (AYE: Allen, Hasina, Murchie, Narita, B. Wong, Welch, West, Velasco, Matson, Persons, St. Denis, L. Wong; NAY: Beutel and Whitsell; ABSTAIN: None). [8:50 p.m.]
Presentation by Hawaiian Telecom - Work at 3237 Hinano Street, Honolulu, HI 96815: [8:51 p.m.] Matthew Yang, Hawaiian Telcom, reported that a new telecommunication pole will be installed on Hinano Street in the right of way. Hawaiian Telecom is working with the Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) and Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP). Construction is planned for 2023.
Questions, comments, and concerns: St Denis asked and Yang clarified the coverage area is a 300-foot radius from the pole. Matson asked about the height of the pole and if more poles are expected. Yang responded two (2) more poles are slated for the area and the height is 29 feet 4 inches. L. Wong asked and Yang responded that Hinano Street residents have not been notified yet but they will be.
Due to facility closure all further Board business was deferred, except for the following report.
Diamond Head Sub-District Report: [8:58 p.m.] L. Wong reported that the Kaimana Beach showers had been out for a week, and might have a ground-breaking ceremony before the next Board meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:59 p.m.
Submitted by Jackson Coley, Senior Clerk
Reviewed by: Dylan Whitsell
Reviewed by: J. David Beutel, Secretary, Neighborhood Board No. 5
Final approval by:
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