Wednesday, April 28, 1999

Board wants
Koko Head park
statement withdrawn

By Harold Morse


The Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board has asked the city to withdraw the draft environmental impact statement on the proposed Koko Head Regional Park and Nature Preserve.

In an 11-0 vote last night at Hahaione School, the board decided to ask officials to defer the park to allow more community feedback in redrafting the plan.

Board member Dick Baker, president of Friends of Hanauma Bay who abstained from voting, said he tried to tell city officials strong opposition was inevitable because of inadequate community involvement.

"I continue to think that the concept of the Koko Head Nature Preserve is an excellent and visioning plan," he said.

"The alternatives included in the draft EIS do not adequately address the residents' and patrons' wishes," the board's letter says in part. "These alternatives appear to be specifically tailored to visitors."

The letter calls for revision of the master plan to include results of community discussion and feedback to clarify goals for area parks.

The Monday meeting of the board's Parks and Recreation Committee produced alternatives not included in the master plan or the draft environmental report, the letter says.

"We also note that there are several planning studies ongoing in the Hawaii Kai area that are in various stages of completion which could have an impact on the master plan and draft EIS."

The proposed $13 million Koko Head Regional Park and Nature Preserve plan received harsh criticism Monday at the committee meeting at Koko Head District Park.

The recurring theme was a sense of restricted access to Hanauma Bay for Hawaii residents and a sense of something approaching unlimited access for busloads of tourists.

Consultant Group 70 International, 925 Bethel St., Honolulu, HI 96813, is accepting comments on the draft until May 7.

E-mail to City Desk

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