Open letter to Mayor Caldwell about the redevelopment of Sherwood Forest

Posted by Lauren Muneoka at May 27, 2019 02:47 AM |
We are requesting community consultation and further environmental review on the Waimānalo Bay Beach Park Master Plan

We are writing in support of community efforts to obtain consultation and clarification on the 2012 Waimānalo Bay Beach Park Master Plan. Our groups support community engagement with public processes and proper review of environmental impacts of projects planned on public lands and especially our treasured beach parks. Many longtime Waimānalo residents and leaders, including Nā Kuaʻāina o Waimānalo, expressed that this plan does not reflect todayʻs community needs and priorities.

We understand a final environmental assessment was accepted in 2012, but since that time the community, Waimanalo, and even the Master Plan project have undergone significant changes.

- The Plan identified uses of R-1 water, but the Waimanalo water treatment plant does not recycle water to an R-1 level. Where will the water be sourced from? 
- How will new traffic projects planned for areas adjacent to the park exacerbate the previously reviewed environmental impacts?
- The initial project provided that grubbing wouldn’t occur between April 15 and August 15 to avoid interfering with the breeding season of the endangered ʻōpeʻapeʻa (Hawaiian hoary bat). However, the final plans changed the time period to June 1 to September 15 without a clear explanation. How is the City certain that this important species will be protected? 
- The community has documented instances of archaeological monitoring violations during grubbing. How can the community be better assured iwi and historical sites are protected?

Communities that value Waimanalo beach park have many concerns. Neither the Master Plan nor the environmental review documents have answered them. We urge project proponents to immediately cease tree-clearing and call together a public hearing to answer the community’s cogent questions. Further environmental review and consultation is prudent and needed.

We are a coalition of Hawai‘i-based nonprofit groups organized around protection of our communities’ parks, open spaces, and cultural resources. 
- Nā Kuaʻāina o Waimānalo is a community association of ʻaloha ʻāina assembled to protect Waimanalo.
- KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance has been advocating for the rights of Hawaiian communities in our precious natural resources since 2000. 
- Hawaii’s Thousand Friends is a non-profit environmental, land and water use organization dedicated to ensuring that Hawaii’s natural and cultural resources are protected for present and future generations. 
- O‘ahu Island Parks Conservancy advocates for sustained protection and preservation of public landscapes and open spaces including historic parks, scenic byways, greenways, natural spaces, and related view planes, to benefit the people of Hawai‘i and future generations. 
- The Outdoor Circle’s mission is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty and resources of our islands for future generations by providing and promoting environmental education and activities that cultivate respect and appreciation for Hawai‘i’s unique natural environment. 
- The Hawai`i Alliance for Progressive Action seeks to catalyze community empowerment and systemic change towards valuing ʻāina and people ahead of corporate profit. 
- Save Ala Moana Beach Park Hui is a community association dedicated to principles of preserving our public park spaces.
- The Hawaii Audubon Society has been fostering community values that result in protection and restoration of native wildlife and ecosystems and conservation of natural resources through education, science and advocacy in Hawaii and the Pacific since 1939.

Mahalo for considering our concerns. Please contact Kalani Kalima (XXXXXX), Donna Wong (XXXXXXX) or Bianca Isaki (XXXXXXX) with any questions.

Me ke aloha,

Kalani Kalima, Nā Kuaʻāina o Waimānalo
Bianca Isaki, KAHEA: The Hawaiian Environmental Alliance
Donna Wong, Hawaii’s Thousand Friends
Michelle Matson, O‘ahu Island Parks Conservancy
Winston Welch, The Outdoor Circle
Anne Frederick, Hawai`i Alliance for Progressive Action
Shar Chun-Lum, Save Ala Moana Beach Park Hui
Linda Paul, Hawai`i Audubon Society

Council chair Ikaika Anderson
Councilmember Heidi Tsuneyoshi
Councilmember Tommy Waters
Councilmember Anny Kobayashi
Councilmember Carol Fukunaga
Councilmember Joey Manahan
Councilmember Brandon Elefante
Councilmember Ron Menor
Councilmember Kymberly Pine
Kamakana Ferreira, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, O`ahu Island Burial Council
Alan Downer, State Historic Preservation Division
Senator Laura Thielen
Representative Cynthia Thielen
Representative Chris Lee

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