SUMMARY OF MEETING RE WORK ON CEMETERY IN KAMILONUI VALLEY
On January 6, 2012, a meeting was held at the Mariner’s Cove Bay Club regarding work being done for the proposed cemetery in Kamilonui Valley and the adverse effect this work is having on Cove residents.
Over the past few months, activity has increased in the valley to include numerous truck loads of material being driven into the valley and unloaded. At times, the roads in Mariner’s Cove, most specifically Niumalu Loop, were used for this purpose. After residents complained, the contractors began using the unpaved road, which is a continuation of Hawaii Kai Drive. This road belongs to the owners of the proposed cemetery, not Kamehameha Schools, as many thought or were told by contractors. This road has never been properly maintained by the owners, resulting in noise, dust and other unlivable conditions to the homes adjacent or near it. This work has generated many questions which resulted in a variety of inconsistent answers. Thus, the Livable Hawaii Kai Hui organized this meeting, which Councilman Stanley Chang agreed to chair.
Approximately seventy (70) residents attended, along with several elected representatives and City and County of Honolulu officials:
Councilman Stanley Chang
Representative Gene Ward
Senator Sam Slom
Gary Weller - Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board (HKNB) member
Elizabeth Reilly and Allen Tateishi, board members of the Livable Hawaii Kai Hui
Department of Planning and Permitting Director Tanoue
The meeting began with a 59 page PowerPoint slide presentation by Gary Weller, who represents the area where Mariner’s Cove is located. This summary will only cover the highlights of Mr. Weller’s presentation. If you would like to see the whole PowerPoint presentation, please contact Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Weller emphasized that this slide show was not being presented as any official part of the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board (HKNB) meeting, including the Committee on Planning and Zoning.
The proposed cemetery has had a long history, dating back approximately ten (10) years. There have been a variety of owners and several fines and violations have been levied. There were also plans for bankruptcy reported in 2010. The original plan for the cemetery called for 60,000 graves. The value of the land has also varied considerably.
The new owners of the Hawaii Kai Memorial Park LLC, as of 4/1/2011, are:
Baptiste Charitable Remainder Unitrust c/o co-trustees Arnold M. Baptiste, Jr. and Josefina Jacinto Baptiste
Baptiste, Arnold M. Jr.
Baptiste, Josefina Jacinto
McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon Attorney’s Profit Sharing 401 (K) S/D William C. McCorriston c/o Plan Administrator, First Hawaiian Bank
PMP II, LLC
RCCI Cemetery Holdings, LLC
The general contractor of the project is Grace Pacific.
Highlights of the information presented:
The City Council approved the cemetery on 1/10/2011, despite community opposition.
The valley has an undetermined flood hazard.
In 2005, the then owners of the cemetery were given permits to bring in 50,000 cubic yards of fill and did bring in this amount. They also had a permit to bring in 10,000 additional pounds of fill but it is unknown if they did so.
The C&C of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) granted a permit for work at the proposed cemetery site, which expired on 7/27/2011. Thus, no work should be conducted on the cemetery at this time.
The C&C of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) granted two (2) permits to stockpile asphalt material at the cemetery site from current road work in Hawaii. Stockpiling is defined as moving material from one place to another with the intention of using it in the future. Stockpiling permits need to be renewed periodically. According to David Tanoue, Director of the C&C DPP, these permits will expire on 8/31/2012 and 12/15/2012. The DPP will look into whether there has been too much stockpiling, as reported by members of the HKNB and Livable Hawaii Kai Hui who have personally viewed the scene in the valley. Mariner’s Cove residents have reported that contractors use up to thirty (30) trucks a day to bring the material to be stockpiled into the valley. They often begin work before the permitted time under Hawaii law (7 a.m. on weekdays).
The owners of the cemetery began to build a new road but did not have the necessary permits to do so and they were ordered to stop. This road parallels the current road into the valley and is on private property, owned by the cemetery.
There is concern that some of the material being brought into the valley may contain lead paint.
A question was asked when stockpiling no longer applies and the area becomes a dump. Director Tanoue replied that, at a certain point, it is no longer considered stockpiling. Members of the HKNB and Livable Hawaii Kai Hui reported there is a twelve (12) foot wall of material currently behind some of the nurseries in the valley. Director Tanoue stated he asked the cemetery owners how much longer the stockpiling would go on and was told it would be another month. He said that is not acceptable and that the DPP plans to look into the matter.
The Department of Health Clean Water Branch inspected the area in December and their report is expected to be released soon.
A question was asked why stockpiling is being allowed on preservation land and Director Tanoue responded that it is permissible to do so. Cemeteries are allowed to be built in P2 zoning.
Director Tanoue said that, when the owners apply for a permit to construct the cemetery, a flood assessment will be done at that time.
There will be another meeting which will be attended by at least one (1) of the cemetery owners, or their legal representatives. The date has not been determined for this meeting but it will probably be in mid-February. It will be announced via the Mariner’s Cove alert list.