Foes protestOpponents of the proposed canoe halau at Maunalua Bay took to the streets during rush hour last night.
canoe halau at
Opponents say the proposed
$650,000 shelter would
block the ocean view
By Leila Fujimori
About a dozen people, mostly residents of two Hawaii Kai townhouses, held signs in protest along Kalanianaole Highway saying, "Ocean Views Blocked" and "Halau Yes -- Here No."
"I'm wondering why it has to be in somebody's front yard," said signholder Chuck Elbert, resident of the Moorings. "Couldn't it be at the other end?"
The proposal calls for a 50-foot-by-50-foot structure with walls eight feet high and a roof 20 1/2 feet high at its peak, lower than the restroom facility at the Koko Head end of the bay. A permit for the project will be presented to the City Council tomorrow for a vote.
The Council's Zoning Committee forwarded the permit application without recommendation.
The proposed $650,000 canoe shelter will sit at the Ewa end of Maunalua Bay on the grassy area set back from Kalanianaole Highway near Hawaii Kai Drive. The halau will provide secure storage for the canoes and equipment from the elements as well as vandals. Hui Nalu Canoe Club, a public canoe club, will apply to care for the shelter.
If the halau is built, the club's canoes, which are also used by area school students for five months out of the year, will use the facility.
The opponents passed out fliers and surveyed the Hawaii Kai community on the weekend and found most residents were unaware of the planned canoe shelter. Brown said most respondents opposed the location and size.
But Hui Nalu head coach Reney Chang said the fliers were slanted and false.
The residents made suggestions for the halau to be located across the highway, near the restrooms or parallel with the highway on the grass near the parking lot. However, these were struck down by the city Department of Design and Construction for various reasons, including safety reasons and that it would obstruct motorists' view.
The halau location is the closest to the launching site and would mean that paddlers wouldn't have to carry the heavy canoes for long distances.
"We're only so strong," said Jim Del Monte, 62, a Hui Nalu member.
Fellow member and contractor Tom McFadden said drivers would only see the building for less than five seconds.
As for the building's roof, a few residents would have considered a 10-foot flat roof, but Ching said the current roof design allows needed air flow to prevent warpage and wood rot.
The East Honolulu Vision Team proposed the idea and believes the halau will enhance the bay with its copper roof, moss-rock corners and decorative grillwork.
"It's really a beautiful building and design -- somewhere else," resident and opponent Jane Brown said.