Sunday, May 6, 2001

City & County of Honolulu

North Shore plan
troubles surfers

A developer promises access to
Velzyland, but critics say they'll
testify at a city hearing

By Leila Fujimori

To surfers, Velzyland on Oahu's North Shore is a premier surf spot. So when developer D.G. "Andy" Anderson decided to develop 19.1 acres of property fronting Velzyland and Kaunala Bay, surfers worried about beach access.

Some area residents were disheartened at the prospect of a development instead of a beach park they had hoped for at the site, which the city had been eying a year ago.

"It's a top-quality surfing area with two to three surf sites very attractive to the younger set," said George Downing, spokesman for Save Our Surf. Downing said there are no parks with adequate facilities between Malaekahana State Park and Haleiwa Beach Park.

"It's the last of the private properties left," Downing said. "There's not much left around the coastline."

But Anderson said he is simply selling 33 lots, ranging from 10,300 square feet to 25,000 square feet, not luxury homes.

He said his development will also provide for legal beach access with a pedestrian path through the middle of the development and 1.47 acres at the northeastern end of the property for a roadway and parking lot next to the undeveloped Waialee Beach Park.

"We're trying to be sensitive to the turtles and the people, and the bikes and the surfers," Anderson said.

Anderson has also promised to add a bike path along the beach and plans to use custom street lighting that prevents glare for neighbors and turtles.

Still, surfer Troy Alotis, a member of Friends of Velzyland, a group formed to oppose the project, will be testifying against the project when Anderson applies for a special management area use permit before the city. A hearing has yet to be scheduled.

Alotis got an eviction notice last month along with tenants of 42 other apartments and houses on the beach who will have to leave in August. Their homes will be torn down to make room for the development.

"I'm thoroughly upset," he said. "I've been here for more than 12 years. To see this whole area get destroyed by a profiteering person that's going to take this away from the community."

But not everyone is disappointed that the existing housing will be torn down.

"They're horrible, old, dilapidated houses. Basically it's an eyesore," said Ken Newfield, chairman of the North Shore Neighborhood Board.

However, Newfield has concerns about the project, because the area may lack adequate sewage treatment.

City & County of Honolulu

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