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With Permission / Courtesy of: City and County of Honolulu Neighborhood Commission Office

DIAMOND HEAD - KAPAHULU - SAINT LOUIS HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD NO. 5

 

September 2023 Minutes

 

DRAFT REGULAR MEETING WRITTEN SUMMARY FOR VIDEO RECORD

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2023 at 6:00 P.M.

ALA WAI GOLF COURSE CLUB HOUSE, SECOND FLOOR - 404 KAPAHULU AVENUE, HONOLULU, HI 96815

AND VIA WEBEX TELECONFERENCING

Video recording of this meeting can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s73aPqFuBFM

Reports & other meeting materials can be found at:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1WKnOJqdvqoRuGhJ7E9rg5u7AtruuZZZn 

I. CALL TO ORDER - [0:00:01]: 6:00 p.m.

Chair Welch called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Quorum was established with eight (8) members present. 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.

Board Members Present: Julia Allen, David Beutel, Rafia Hasina, Angie Knight, Wendell Murakawa, Margaret Murchie, Winston Welch, Dylan Whitsell, Dan Decker (6:02 p.m.), Bruce Wong (6:09 p.m.), Arleen Velasco (6:10 p.m.), and Linda Wong (7:25 p.m.).

Board Members Absent: Michelle Matson.

Guests: Captain Kainoa Asato (Honolulu Fire Department); Lieutenant L. Nishimura (Honolulu Police Department); Kathleen Elliott-Pahinui, Deputy Manager Erwin Kawata, Stella Bernardo, Joe Cooper (Honolulu Board of Water Supply); Dean Carol Hoshiko (Kapiolani Community College); Council Chair Tommy Waters, Amanda Zepeda; Councilmember Calvin Say, Janel Denny, Melvia Kawashima; Stanton Ching, Chloe Keliipio, Edward Kuba, Catherine Conrad, Daisy Murai, Joannie Dobbs, Laura Ruby, Randall Wakumoto, Beth Ann Young, Pradeep Arora, David Shimokawa, MJ Nakamoto, Von Wiegandt (Residents); Dylan Buck (Neighborhood Commission Office). Note: Name was not included if not legible. There were 47 total participants.

II. PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS - [0:00:24]

Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) - [0:00:25]: Captain Asato reported the following:

August 2023 Statistics: There was one (1) wildland/brush fire, one (1) nuisance fire, two (2) activated alarms without fire, 60 medical emergencies, five (5) motor vehicle collisions, four (4) mountain rescues, and one (1) hazardous materials incident.

A copy of the report and safety tips can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hW3Q-rNnj9ikXsgV52zTf8vc8f_MccTV/view?usp=drive_link

Decker joined the meeting at 6:02 p.m.; nine (9) members present.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [0:02:02].

Honolulu Police Department (HPD) District 6 - [0:05:57]: No representative present.

Honolulu Police Department (HPD) District 7 - [0:06:23]: Lieutenant Nakamura reported the following:

August 2023 Statistics: There were seven (7) motor vehicle thefts, two (2) burglaries, 18 thefts, five (5) unauthorized entry into motor vehicle (UEMV's), and 6,627 total calls for service. More information can be found at: https://www.honolulupd.org/information/crime-mapping/

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [0:07:34].

B. Wong joined the meeting at 6:09 p.m.; 10 members present.

Velasco joined the meeting at 6:11 p.m.; 11 members present.

III. FILLING OF BOARD VACANCIES - [0:11:11]

Diamond Head Sub-District 3 - Two (2) Seats [0:11:15]: No volunteers at this time.

IV. OFFICER ELECTIONS - [0:11:59]

Secretary - [0:11:59]: [0:12:13] - Whitsell nominated Beutel for Secretary. [0:12:24] - Welch nominated Matson for Secretary, but the nomination was not considered due to Matson's absence at this time. Hearing no other nominations, the board conducted a roll call vote. Beutel was elected Secretary; 10-1 (Beutel: Allen, Beutel, Decker, Hasina, Knight, Murakawa, Murchie, Velasco, Whitsell, B. Wong; Abstain: Welch) - [0:13:34].

V. BWS, KCC, & PUBLIC EVENTS NOTICES/ANNOUNCEMENTS - [0:14:44]

Board of Water Supply (BWS) - [0:14:45]: Public Information Officer (PIO) Elliott-Pahinui reported that it is ‘Source Protection Week' from Sunday, September 24, 2023 through Saturday, September 30, 2023. The goal is to bring awareness about the importance of protecting our precious drinking water resources. PIO Elliott-Pahinui also reported, in regards to the Diamond Head fencing project, that the BWS submitted the Conservation District application and is currently under review. More information can be found at: https://www.boardofwatersupply.com/source

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [0:16:25].

Kapiolani Community College (KCC) - [0:19:49]: Dean Hoshiko presented images regarding construction updates for the new Culinary Institute of the Pacific (CIP) restaurant and auditorium, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fgTSR5cZioCWJBa1sT0N3CDFilEkwUFv/view?usp=drive_link. The project is on schedule, to be completed by the end of 2023. There will be an open forum at KCC on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. regarding the selection of the CIP Executive Director. The CIP has another quarterly virtual townhall construction update scheduled for Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 5:00 p.m., before opening the campus in January 2024.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [0:25:22].

Public Events Announcements - [0:33:11]: No discussion.

VI. COMMUNITY CONCERNS & OPEN PUBLIC TESTIMONY - [0:33:29]

Overgrown Hedges near Rainbow Drive Inn - [0:34:15]: Edward Kuba raised multiple safety concerns regarding overgrown hedges at the corners of Kanaina Street/Kapahulu Avenue and Castle Street/Kapahulu Avenue (fronting Rainbow Drive Inn). Kuba commented that the overgrown hedges create blind spots for drivers, hindering their ability to see pedestrians and on-coming vehicles. Kuba also noted that the overgrown hedges create a space for homeless activity, which includes theft and property damage of Rainbow Drive Inn, and a recent death threat was made from a violent homeless individual towards the manager of Rainbow Drive Inn. Kuba requested that the City maintain the hedges on a frequent basis or remove them entirely. Council Chair Waters responded that he and the Department of Facility Maintenance are aware of the issue, and asked the board to decide if they wish to remove the hedges. Chair Welch responded that this item can be referred to one of the board's committees, or added to the next regular meeting agenda for a vote.

Pahoa Ridge Development - Traffic and Safety Concerns - [0:40:32]: Patty Kawano raised multiple traffic safety concerns regarding the proposed Pahoa Ridge Development at 2779 Waialae Avenue. Kawano is concerned that this location is not suitable to house additional residents because the roadways and congested enough as is, and an increase to vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the area poses additional safety concerns. Kawano also commented that this project is not a truly affordable workforce housing project. Kawano provided more information, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12luQ4goztGtKbW5VPEoVVm2mM52ST-7o/view?usp=drive_link. Stanton Ching also spoke in opposition to the Pahoa Ridge Development project, citing similar traffic and safety concerns. Lydia Nakata also spoke in opposition to the project for similar reasons, and added that she lives near the project site and was never notified of the proposed development. Council Chair Waters explained that Chapter 201(H) is a State law that allows for the waiving of multiple development fees and restrictions, and added that the State currently defines affordable as 140% Area Median Income. Knight recommended that this issue be referred to one of the board's committees.

Kuilei Place Development - Traffic Concerns - [1:02:37]: Daisy Murai, in relation to the previous discussion on the Pahoa Ridge Development, spoke to similar concerns regarding the Kuilei Place Development. Murai asked and Chair Welch thanked Murai for the reminder to appoint one of the board members to represent this board at the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OMPO) Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings. Velasco recommended that this issue be referred to one of the board's committees.

Ala Pono Bridge Project - Town Hall Announcement - [1:05:44]: Laura Ruby expressed her opposition to the current design plans for the Ala Pono Bridge project, shared images of bridge designs that she feels are more appropriate, and clarified that she is no longer opposed to overall construction of this bridge. Ruby announced that she called a meeting to discuss this project earlier this month, and another meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at Washington Middle School at 5:30 p.m. Whitsell raised concerns that members of this board, and neighboring boards, were not notified or invited to a recent public meeting about the project. Murchie suggested that images of the proposed design should be published for greater awareness. Von Wiegandt commented that she found out about the first meeting too late and in an odd fashion. Chair Welch encouraged those interested to view the board's previous resolutions on the topic at: https://www.honolulu.gov/cms-nco-menu/site-nco-sitearticles/28958-neighborhood-board-resolutions.html

Diamond Head Road Safety Concerns: No discussion.

Whitsell left the meeting at 7:20 p.m.; 10 members present.

VII. FEDERAL, STATE & CITY GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION REPORTS - [1:19:47]

U.S. Congressman Ed Case's Representative - [1:20:05]: No representative present.

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono's Representative - [1:20:15]: No representative present.

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz's Representative - [1:20:20]: No representative present.

Governor Josh Green's Representative - [1:20:33]: No representative present. A report was submitted, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OyVxVp4d-6TRUcIoF7SI2OfYHMu_to2y/view?usp=drive_link

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [1:20:57].

State Department of Transportation (DOT) - [1:23:14]: No representative present.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [1:23:40].

L. Wong joined the meeting at 7:25 p.m.; 11 members present.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi's Representative - [1:25:25]: No representative present. Two (2) reports were submitted, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ybXwmHLasv6ijNAjykdt1azXXZRBKEkP/view?usp=drive_link & https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CQvEZ-KgVd7BJWU7WeUKupUGqAPi09Uh/view?usp=drive_link

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [1:26:16].

City Department of Transportation Services (DTS) - [1:37:08]: No representative present.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [1:37:09].

VIII. ELECTED OFFICIALS - [1:37:40]

Representative Bertrand Kobayashi - [1:37:43]: No representative present. A report was submitted which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z5fJdtdPa71nnKqEaNpaSLwWl-fqpthh/view?usp=drive_link

Representative Jackson Sayama - [1:38:15]: No representative present. A report was submitted which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uHQxj2DapKyKFunelRazb__a0XSb7Tqn/view?usp=drive_link

Senator Stanley Chang - [1:39:51]: No representative present. A report was submitted which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ykBi3kGQUo5SHuTZFiaObWqoLDao_ZrR/view?usp=drive_link

Senator Les Ihara, Jr. - [1:40:06]: No representative present.

Council Chair Tommy Waters - [1:40:22]: Council Chair Waters provided his report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QHJYHned_D1S1D7ihj-w5ERW71sbb62Y/view?usp=drive_link. Council Chair Waters spoke to the following: the Ala Pono Bridge project; enforcement of illegally parked mopeds at Makalei Beach Park; the Ala Wai Flood Mitigation project; the deadline to apply for property tax credit is Monday, October 2, 2023; the low-income tax credit was increased from $60,000 to $80,000; a Senior informational assistant handbook is available; and the ACLU is currently suing the City.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [1:47:54].

Councilmember Calvin Say - [1:54:40]: Councilmember Say provided his report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14TtSjxlxomTkjIzNS-_YQsV_BKt7kwvj/view?usp=drive_link. Councilmember Say responded to concerns raised earlier in the meeting, and is hopeful the legislature will consider amending Chapter 201(H) this upcoming session to address the public's concerns.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [1:55:50].

IX. PRESENTATIONS - [2:10:48]

Board of Water Supply Proposed 5-Year Rate Increases - [2:10:50]: Public Information Officer Elliott-Pahinui (Honolulu Board of Water Supply - BWS) provided a detailed presentation on the BWS proposed five (5)-year rate increases for their customers. The BWS is seeking community input on the proposals at this time before they submit their official proposal to the BWS Board for consideration in September or October 2023. Elliott-Pahinui highlighted that: (1) the BWS is a semi-autonomous agency of the City and County of Honolulu; (2) BWS is solely funded by ratepayers; (3) BWS receives no funding from property taxes; (4) the proposed rates only apply to water, not sewer; (5) water rates are approved by the BWS Board; (6) wastewater (sewer) charges are determined by the Department of Environmental Services (DES) and approved by the City Council. A copy of the presentation can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1taeW2TU_z5sVpj00Xi3DwmJkEITI1sHO/view?usp=drive_link

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [2:18:30].

X. COMMITTEE REPORTS - [2:39:57]

Environment - [2:40:20]: Committee Chair Velasco reported the following information from her meeting that was held on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at Paki Hale: the meeting attendance was low, but very informative as Director Babcock (ENV) attended to explain where and how the City will upgrade the sewer lines; Velasco noted that there is no big push at the moment to upgrade the sewage system; Velasco raised concerns that the City will install the sewage lines but the cost will fall on the homeowners to connect their properties to the sewage lines.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [2:43:15].

Parks & Recreation: No report.

Planning & Zoning: No report.

Traffic & Public Safety - [2:52:03]: Committee Chair Murchie reported DTS Director Morton held a meeting last week with community members to discuss Diamond Head Road safety concerns. Due to the significance of the concerns, Director Morton is hopeful that the process can be streamlined to implement speed humps (or other traffic calming measures). Another topic of discussion was the number of parades and block parties on Kalakaua Avenue.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [2:54:53].

XI. REPORT OF BOARD MEMBERS ATTENDING OTHER BOARD MEETINGS - [2:56:50]:

Waikiki Neighborhood Board Meeting - [2:56:50]: Murchie reported that she attended the last Waikiki NB meeting and topics of discussion included Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), Complete Streets, and the Ala Pono Bridge project.

XII. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - [2:58:28]

Regular Meeting Minutes - Thursday, February 9, 2023; Thursday, March 9, 2023; Thursday, April 13, 2023; Thursday, May 18, 2023; Thursday, June 8, 2023; Thursday, July 13, 2023; Thursday, August 10, 2023 - [2:58:28]: Postponed to the next meeting.

XIII. ANNOUNCEMENTS - [3:00:16]

Next Meeting - [3:00:16]: The next Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board No.05 regular meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2023 at the Ala Wai Golf Course Clubhouse and virtually via Webex.

XIV. ADJOURNMENT - [3:00:38]: The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Submitted by: Dylan Buck, Neighborhood Assistant

Reviewed by: Naomi Hanohano, Community Relations Specialist

Finalized by: J. David Beutel, Secretary, Neighborhood Board No. 5

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