Raceway Park owner wants it rezoned
The owner of the old Hawaii Raceway Park site is asking the City Council to rezone the 66-acre property to turn it into an industrial park.
But racing enthusiasts requested yesterday that the Council hold off making a zoning decision until legislation that would condemn the property is voted upon.
"If the city allows them to be rezoned into industrial, all it does is give the current landowner more leverage when it comes down to condemnation or possibly a land swap," Jeannette Grace of Save Oahu's Race Track told the Council in her opposition to Bill 53.
Owner H.M.C. Irongate Raceway Investors LLC wants to change the zoning of the property just outside Campbell Industrial Park from agriculture to industrial.
The racetrack closed in 2006, and the property was sold to the current Los Angeles-based owner.
Plans call for the site to be redeveloped into an industrial park with 90 lots.
City Councilman Todd Apo has introduced two pieces of legislation -- Resolutions 07-162 and 07-163 -- that would result in the city condemning the land.
Apo, however, has said that a land swap could also be considered.
Yesterday, the Council approved moving forward with the rezoning in the first of three required votes.
"There's ample time in the upcoming committee meetings and public hearings on the bill for further discussions on it," said Keith Kurahashi, the owner's representative.
But those opposed to the rezoning asked the Council to put the brakes on the zoning at least for now.
"My family, we love to race and it's in our blood, so we're not asking you to give up something. We're just asking you to kind of go back a little bit," Polly Grace testified. "Help us find a home."
The city administration, however, in documents recommending rezoning, said that racing would not be allowed at the track with the current agriculture zoning.