Castle in the Sand?
KAHEA has joined a coalition of environmental, conservation, and ocean user groups in appealing the decision of the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting to bend zoning rules and allow Kyo-Ya, the owner of the Moana Surfrider Hotel, to build a massive luxury hotel on the beach at Waikiki. Coalition members include: Hawai`i Thousand Friends, Surfrider Foundation, Ka Iwi Coalition, Michelle Matson, and KAHEA.
Kyo-ya proposes to knock down the 8-story building (that should not be built there) and build a new huge 26-story, surfboard-shaped, luxury hotel and condo structure right next to the historic Moana Banyan Tree Court and the Kuhio Beach Park (the only public park on Waikiki beach).
Such a proposal is not allowed by the many laws passed over the years to protect Oahu's shorelines, especially Waikiki Beach. Despite these protections, the City approved Kyo-ya's proposal.
Click to view larger version of picture.
Allowing this construction project is such a bad idea, in so many ways:
- it will increase the pressure to use this beach while undermining the overall experience of the beach;
- it will mean a taller skyline and even more seawalls;
- it will make suffering sea level rise that much more painful;
- it will create housing for the absurdly wealthy while adding to the construction waste landfilled in Native Hawaiian communities;
- it won't create any longterm jobs, but it will make it even harder to fish, dive, and surf in this area; and
- it will weaken the overall efficacy of the laws we established to protect our best interests because the City felt like exempting the hotel from the no-build zone on Waikiki.
That's why we are appealing the decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Learn more about this issue:
"Coalition fights to keep Waikiki developer Kyo-Ya from bending the rules," The Hawaii Independent, Jan. 6, 2011.
"In Waikiki, Fears that Construction will Spoil Beach," New York Times, Nov. 1, 2010.
"Shadows on the Beach," Honolulu Weekly, Jan. 19, 2011.
Appeal filed to the Zoning Board of Appeals, Dec. 28, 2010.