Petition asks council to deny zoning change for Live, Work, Play Aiea
A petition organized by two private citizens asks the Honolulu City Council to deny a zoning change for the Live, Work, Play Aiea development, which would be built on the former site of Kam Drive-in in Aiea.
The petition contained 1,196 signatures and was submitted to the city clerk last Wednesday. The petition cites traffic congestion, sewer capacity, noise and other concerns as reasons why the project by Los Angeles-based Robertson Property Group should be denied.
Bill 68, which seeks to rezone 14 acres of land for the $766 million development, has passed two readings, with council members in both instances voting 9-0 in favor. The zoning change would allow Robertson to build two towers 150 feet tall, and three towers 350, 300 and 250 feet tall, respectively.
However, council member Ikaika Anderson says the bill to change zoning in the area is currently on hold as details of a community-benefits package is worked out. A public hearing on Bill 68 must be held by Anderson's Zoning and Planning Committee before the measure can be adopted by the full council.
"We are always going to look at a petition, regardless of when it comes in," Anderson told KITV4. "But again, this is really late in the process. This bill came before the council for first reading in December of last year, and now here we are towards the end of February."
Anderson says he and other members of the council must also weigh the testimony of those who support Live, Work, Play Aiea, which will provide much-needed housing opportunities for the area.
"We're looking at affordable housing (and) workforce housing for those who are least able to afford it," said the councilman.
Live, Work, Play Aiea is the first project on Oahu to utilize a development agreement instead of unilateral agreement. Under a development agreement, both the city and the developer are obligated to perform certain actions, and the agreement is only executed after a zoning change.
Council Chairman Ernie Martin says he may fine-tune the development agreement with Robertson to ensure community concerns are taken into account.
"From my particular office, we're already looking at drafting amendments to address some of those concerns as well as others," he said. "It's good to hear both sides of the story; I mean that's the democratic process."
Robertson did not return phone calls or emails from KITV4 on Friday that sought comments about the petition.
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