Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Army has lease to
Pokai Bay beach house

Question: In the Pokai Bay Beach area is the Harvey House. The Army has rights to it as part of its rest camp. There was some controversy about this about two years ago, but I was wondering if they ever turned that house over to the state or city. I'm interested in possibly having a youth program (canoe club) there, so I want to know who to contact.

Answer: The property is owned by the city and being leased to the Army.

The city expects to continue leasing it to the Army, which is maintaining the facility "for the foreseeable future," according to the Department of Design and Construction. Because of this, the house is not available for other uses.

The lease is renewed automatically every year by the city Department of Budget and Fiscal Services. In exchange, the Army allows the city to use federal land in Wahiawa for a community garden.

According to Glen Kila, chairman of the Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board, the beach house was part of an old native Hawaiian fishing village and is named after one of the fishermen who once lived there.

He said his father was born in that house and that his grandfather planted the hau trees next to it.

There are plans to demolish the house sometime in the future, but Kila believes the house should be preserved because of its historic nature.

He said there were attempts to have land at Neneu Beach (Pokai Bay) returned to native Hawaiian families who were moved off by the military in 1933-34 but that a legal deadline was missed "by five years, according to federal laws."

According to the Sept. 4, 2001, minutes of the neighborhood board, the city was preparing to offer the Army a five-year lease of the Harvey House property instead of the old year-to-year leases.

Back then, according to the minutes: "The city plans to improve this area after first implementing improvements to the main areas of the park. Those improvements include opening of the beachfront property to the public, demolition of the Harvey House and construction of a lifeguard station."

Asked about those planned improvements, a city spokeswoman said they could not be undertaken until improvements were made to drainage on Bayview Street.

The Bayview Street drain project was proposed the past two years but was not included in the current city budget, she said, adding that "the master planned improvements would take place once the drain project is completed."


For the past year I've called the city and state about the filthiest, dirtiest stretch of road, which is Vineyard Boulevard between Nuuanu Avenue and Pali Highway, near Safeway. There are cigarette butts and other stuff in the hedge from last year. I can't seem to find anyone to clean it up. -- Kathy

(We passed your complaint on to the state Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over Vineyard Boulevard. For similar complaints, call the Highways Division at 831-6714.)


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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