Resort will destroy North Shore's character
THE development plan of the Turtle Bay Resort for five new hotels with 3,500 new hotel rooms must be stopped. The population impact of such an expansion will significantly destroy the quality of life of Oahu's rural North Shore.
Economic studies show that one quality hotel room can produce about two jobs; each job should support one to four new people. A growth of 3,500 hotel rooms could be responsible for at least 14,000 workers and members of their families. In addition, if two visitors occupy each room, another 7,000 people would be present on a daily basis. Therefore, the proposed hotels could increase the population of the North Shore rural area by 21,000 or more.
STAR-BULLETIN / 2001
A young visitor and her father enjoy the koi pond at the Turtle Bay Resort.
Hawaii's jobless rate, lowest in the nation, is at a 15-year drop to 2.4 percent (Star-Bulletin, March 11). Economists accept a 4 to 6 percent unemployment rate as a full employment standard. The development of new low-paying jobs is not desirable or necessary for Hawaii. In contrast, the availability of such jobs lures new migrants to these low-quality positions.
Hotel growth encourages in-migration and rapid population increase. This occurs at the cost of environmental deterioration; land, water, air and noise pollution; water supply and sewage overload; urbanization of agricultural, conservation and beachfront lands; increase in housing costs; disruption of native ecosystems with loss of land and marine flora and fauna; possible destruction of cultural, historic and archeological sites; and rising crime rates, social stress and parking problems.
The proposed Kawela Bay/ Turtle Bay development would cause severe traffic congestion. Urban studies in 1980 showed that new hotels at Kawela Bay and Kuilima (Turtle Bay) would require at least a four-lane highway for economic viability. Are Hawaii taxpayers to support this growth for the gain of out-of-state investors?
The City and County of Honolulu already has spent millions of dollars to prepare an infrastructure to accommodate hotel and tourist growth from Kapolei to Makaha. State government measures are needed now to recognize limits to population growth, to constrain land and water use, and to protect Oahu's North Shore rural country environment from unnecessary hotel construction.