Kokua Line
June Watanabe

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Old drive-in is now
less of an eyesore

Question: The old Kam Drive-In property has been neglected for years. It is without question the biggest and ugliest eyesore in the Pearlridge area. Three items of note include the marquee, which is full of holes and graffiti; the overgrown grass; and mudslides at the Diamond Head/makai corner whenever there is a heavy rain. Is there any regulation governing the lack of property maintenance as it interferes with the good of the community?

Answer: You've probably seen considerable improvement by now.

City inspectors and a representative of the lessee, Consolidated Kam Swap Meet, say much has been done in recent months to improve the property.

The condition of the property has been a source of concern to many others in the community, including the Aiea Neighborhood Board and Kamehameha Schools, the landowner, said Gerald Takayesu, chief of the city Storm Water Quality Branch.

Earlier this year, his office issued a notice of violation and $3,000 fine to Consolidated for sediment problems. The fine was paid, and the company hired a consulting engineer and has taken steps to address the problem, Takayesu said.

"They've done quite a bit of work," he said, adding that "the measures are adequate to address the problem," as long as proper maintenance is done. Measures include putting in Gunite (a cement/sand/water mixture sprayed onto a surface) along the slopes, as well as terracing and new fencing.

The city Building Division issued a notice of violation for the marquee more recently, after an inspection found material from the structure fallen on the ground and a rusting steel frame, said Ivan Matsumoto, chief building inspector for the commercial and multifamily code enforcement branch.

A city inspector also found graffiti on some walls. But, Matsumoto said, the city does not have any ordinance covering graffiti on private property.

Henry Murillo, location manager for Consolidated Kam Swap Meet, said the company plans to keep the marquee because it allows "great advertising," since the site is used for a swap meet.

A structural engineer has been hired to come up with plans to repair the marquee, a fixture since the days the site was home to a drive-in movie theater.

Meanwhile, maintenance workers are on the watch to paint over any graffiti on a weekly basis, and the overgrowth also has been taken care of, Murillo said.

Q: Every day, I notice all the dive boat vans parking at the Diamond Head end of Kewalo Basin. They are never ticketed in expired meter zones. Why?

A: They have special permits -- commercial businesses are allowed to pay $55 a month per vehicle to park in metered stalls.

Kewalo Basin falls under the state Department of Transportation's harbor police. Parking enforcement is handled by harbor police and, as of June 7, also by the Kewalo Basin Harbor Office.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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