'Great Lawn' or strip mall in Hawaii Kai?

Published On: Mar 21 2013 05:45:00 PM HST

A meeting is being held Thursday night at Kamiloiki Elementary School to talk about building a strip mall on the lawn across from Maunalua Bay Beach Park in Hawaii Kai.

Across Kalanianaole Highway, there's 4.5 acres of land owned by Kamehameha Schools.

There have been talks about building a strip mall there anchored by Foodland.

Some in the community are opposed to the idea and want what's known as the "Great Lawn" to be left untouched.

"I think a strip mall here would make the traffic a lot, lot worse than what it is now.  Traffic's already bad around this place," said Catherine Wenzl.

Opinion polls done by Rep. Gene Ward show overwhelming opposition to development while a Kamehameha Schools poll reveals strong support for a strip mall.

"That's why we're going to call the people together.  Rather than relying on polls, let's see what the people themselves have to say," said Rep. Ward.

Foodland closed at nearby Koko Marina Center two years ago, leaving Safeway as the community's only general grocery store.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m.   Lawmakers, along with representatives from Kamehameha Schools and Foodland were scheduled to be there.

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