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Homes and stores line this 2-lane country "highway"
Public Policy

Do you live along Kamehameha?

in Sewers and infrastructure in Kahuku plantation village in Honolulu Mayoral Race in Turtle Bay Resort expansion in Koa Ridge

Do you live or know someone who lives or owns business along Kamehameha “Highway” from Kahalu’u, Waikane, Kahana, Ka’a'awa, Punalu’u, Hau’ula, Lai’e, Kahuku, Sunset, Pupukea, to Hale’iwa?

2013 will bring significant decisions that will affect residents from Kahalu’u to Hale’iwa. There are many proposed massive projects in the pipe line for this region. We encourage you to question and get involved.

It’s not the investors’ job to worry about these impacts and fall outs; their job is to make money for their investors.

The responsibility falls on the Department of Planning and Permitting, Mayor and government representatives to independently analyze the cumulative and future impacts in order to protect the residents and taxpayers now and for the future.

SEND YOUR COMMENTS and QUESTIONS by January 7, 2013 to have legal standing in this SEIS process. However, Turtle Bay will accept questions and comments till January 18, 2013:
drew@replayresorts.com, leesichter@gmail.com, ccComments@honoulu.gov, emartin@honolulu.gov,

The Turtle Bay Resort is undergoing the Supreme Court-mandated decree to complete a Supplemental Environmental Impact Study (SEIS) for its proposed expansion. This “True Hawaii” resort has been bought and sold by corporations like Prudential to Asahi Jyuken to Oak Tree Capital and now Replay Resorts. It’s obvious their goal is profit for their investors, and rightly so.

Free enterprise should be encouraged. However, the Big Question is what should our role be in relation to these projects? Should we question these corporations and their surrogates or should we simply eat up everything they say and print?

For example, why is First Hawaiian Bank so active in supporting major projects on Oahu from the Honolulu Rail to the Turtle Bay Resort expansion?

Are Turtle Bay’s “hired experts” truly looking out for the public’s best interests or is it their job to please the hands that feed them?

Will locals be eventually squeezed out due to inevitable increased costs of urbanization?

What are the multiplier impacts on this region?

Can the public hold them accountable to their words and promises?

I will pull an impact out of the hat: Traffic

Basic fact: If there are more massive developments, there will inevitably be increased traffic on our 2-lane Kamehameha Highway from Kahalu’u to Hale’iwa, right?

Yet, when it comes to “mitigating” the inevitable traffic in the Ko’olauloa and North Shore regions, the repeated “escape clause” about traffic impacts from Turtle Bay SEIS Consultants is: “We understand that the future widening of Kamehameha Highway for the purpose of adding lanes is not under consideration by either DOT or the city.”

These inevitable and eventual impacts are taboos to be hidden behind hollow useless phrases like “the project cannot prevent an increase in traffic” or “the resort is part of the North Shore and Ko’olauloa communities and is committed to finding workable traffic solutions.”

With superb coordination, the City’s proposed 2012 Ko’olauloa Sustainable Communities Plan DRAFT further states “The Department of Transportation plans to maintain the 2-lane highway”. In order words, nobody wants to discuss the inevitable cumulative traffic impacts and the costs involved to taxpayers and residents in the long run.

Any local knows the 2-lane Kamehameha Hwy is sandwiched by the ocean, homes, country storefronts, and historical landmarks.

Without question, increased traffic, and noise along this stretch will irreparably ruin the country charm, lifestyle, create immense economic hardships on affected parties and kill the golden tourism goose that is a big part of Oahu’s economy.

What will happen to kama’aina homes and small mom-and-pop stores when Kam “Hwy” has to be widened? What would be the cost to the taxpayers in terms of infrastructure and eminent domain procedures? Is it progress to displace generations-old property owners to pave the way for more affluent visitors and foreign investors like Replay Resorts to profit from?

With Turtle Bay Resort’s proposed massive expansion, irreparable economic, cultural, and social impacts from eventual displacement of private properties and small mom-and-pop enterprises along the shoulders of Kamehameha “Highway” (from Kahalu’u to Haleiwa) are apparently no big deal to our government, developers, or their surrogates.

To many, the solution is for the Department of Planning and Permitting to boldly address the carrying capacity of this region; don’t create more traffic and other infrastructural problems by permitting carte blanche massive developments in rural Oahu.  DPP must independently address the cumulative Big Picture and its Carrying Capacity first.

It’s not the investors’ job to worry about these impacts and fall outs; their job is to make money for their investors.

The responsibility falls on the Department of Planning and Permitting, Mayor and government representatives to independently analyze the cumulative and future impacts in order to protect the residents and taxpayers now and for the future.

SEND YOUR COMMENTS and QUESTIONS by January 7, 2013 to have legal standing in this SEIS process. However, Turtle Bay will accept questions and comments till January 18, 2013:
drew@replayresorts.com, leesichter@gmail.com, ccComments@honoulu.gov, emartin@honolulu.gov,

Choon James has been a real estate broker for over 20 years. She was a member of the Ko’olauloa Sustainable Communities Planning AdvisoryCommittee. She hosts “Country Talk Story” on Olelo Community Television on Saturdays at 5:00 pm on Channel 55. She can be reached at 808 293 9111 or ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com

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