Kaka'ako residents give lawmakers an earful on the proposed massive development plans

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: May 30 2013 10:57:22 PM HST
Updated On: May 31 2013 06:26:42 AM HST

A heated night at the capital after Kaka'ako residents gave lawmakers an earful on those proposed massive development plans in Hawaii.

HONOLULU -

A heated night at the State Capitol as Kaka'ako residents gave lawmakers an earful on the proposed massive development plans.

Furious Kaka'ako residents said the new development plans would change their area too fast, and make it too massive blocking million dollar views. After months of feeling ignored by the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which oversees the plans, they were finally able to speak out.

"A lot of them were taken by surprise by these proposals they are not sure how they can be heard on these proposals as they are being decided by by the HCDA," said Rep. Scott Saiki of District 26.

Proposals of more than a dozen high-rises include three up to 700 feet that's 300 feet higher than the current limit. While the plans are centered around the proposed rail line, residents say, no matter what, more people, more cars will mean more problems.

"It's bad enough now what are they going to do put more traffic lights in? i don't think Honolulu needs even one more poorly timed light," said Kaka'ako resident Bob Lamb.

"When we have a bad rain the sewers already back up... because the sewers are not able to handle it," said Kaka'ako resident Kathy Kreinik.

It will be about 20,000 more residents. Late in the meeting on Thursday, there was a surprise guest, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who said new residents should be welcomed. He sees the future of Kaka'ako with more affordable work-force housing, something many at the meeting do not like.

"I'm not that concerned that your values are going to down because of the people that are going to go into Kaka'ako. The people that are going to come into Kaka'ako to live are very fine people that are earning a living and making a living in life," said Abercrombie.

The decision making process for the new plans is fast. It only takes about one month. The next public review for a new development project will be on June 5 at 9:30 a.m. At 461 Cooke Street, and that's when the lawmakers plan to bring the residents concerns to the HCDA.

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