SUMMARY OF 2/13/12 MEETING RE WORK ON CEMETERY IN KAMILONUI VALLEY
On February 13, 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. This was a follow up to a meeting on January 6, 2012. The summary of that meeting has been previously posted on the forum.
Approximately 87 people attended, along with several elected representatives and City and County of Honolulu officials:
Councilman Stanley Chang
Representative Gene Ward
Gary Weller, Rene Garvin, Greg Knudsen, Maxine Rutkowski, Amy Monk – members of the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board (HKNB)
Elizabeth Reilly (Cove resident), Allen Tateishi (Cove resident), Marian Grey - board members of the Livable Hawaii Kai Hui (LHKH)
The meeting was facilitated by Natalie Iwasa, a member of the LHKH, and began with a short You Tube video by an 11 year old Mariner’s Cove resident, Zoe Payne, about the asphalt dumped in Kamilonui Valley. This video has been posted on the forum.
Councilman Stanley Chang then addressed the group. He related that there has been no news from Director David Tanoue of the City Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) but assured everyone that the city is taking the situation very seriously. He encouraged attendees to contact him with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or 768 5004.
The main speaker was William McCorriston, Hawaii Kai Memorial Park (HKMP) agent. Mr. McCorriston began by stating he thought he would be addressing a meeting of the Mariner’s Cove Association and was troubled that the attendees were not from that group. He believes he should be working with the Mariner’s Cove Bay Club (MCBC) Board of Directors (BOD) and the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board (HKNB). Later in the meeting, the audience was asked to raise their hands if they lived in Mariner’s Cove. The vast majority so responded. Other members of the audience included members of the HKNB and LHKH, as listed above.
The highlights of Mr. McCorriston’s remarks were:
Plans for the cemetery are being reformulated and should be finalized by the summer. He will coordinate with the MCBC BOD and the HKNB when the plans have been finalized.
He understands the concerns about the trucks dumping asphalt in Kamilonui Valley but emphasized the HKMP has permits to stockpile the material. It is more convenient to deposit the asphalt at the site of the proposed cemetery than to have it taken to the quarry and later moved to Kamilonui Valley. He added there may be two (2) to four (4) more days of stockpiling in February or March.
There will be no actual construction on the cemetery until the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013. He responded to a question about the many delays in the cemetery project and blamed it mainly on the recession.
Seventy-five (75) % of the investors are local. An attendee asked how to find out the names of the investors. Mr. McCorriston replied that it is public knowledge and available at the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. (It should be noted that the names of the present owners were in the PowerPoint presentation by Gary Weller at the January 6 meeting. They are listed in the summary of that meeting on the forum. In addition, they may be found at the DCCA website, http://hbe.ehawaii.gov/documents/business.html?fileNumber=77315C5).
A question was asked if a permit to build a cemetery could open up the valley to residential use. The answer was no. It is zoned P2, and preservation zoning does not allow housing.
A question was asked about the possibility of using alternatives to a traditional cemetery (i.e. green burials). Mr. McCorriston stated the HKMP has done a lot of planning and surveys, including environmental studies. He stated the cemetery is far removed from Mariner’s Cove because it is located back in the valley and should have no economic impact on the Cove.
A question was asked about what was being done to minimize the impact on the marina and bay. Mr. McCorriston did not answer this question directly but said he was just contacted by Beverly from the HKMCA and was asked about allowing them to dump their sludge on the cemetery property, if/when the dredging takes place.
Mr. McCorriston then stated he was concerned about people trespassing on cemetery property. A discussion followed with the legal definitions of trespassing and that there are no signs posted in the valley specifically prohibiting it. Gary Weller advised that there must be signs posted and that the person allegedly trespassing must be so warned in front of a police officer. Mr. McCorriston stated there is no way to patrol the cemetery property and there is a danger that someone who is trespassing would be injured, creating liability for the HKMP.
A question was asked if the HKMP would be open to community suggestions for the property other than a cemetery. Mr. McCorriston replied that other ideas have to be consistent with the substantial financial commitment already made by the investors of the HKMP.
A question was asked about what will be done to clean the area up. Mr. McCorriston replied that the HKMP would take inventory of what is presently in the valley. He requested that the community let him know of their specific concerns.
Elizabeth Reilly asked, as a resident of Mariner’s Cove, if the private road owned by the HKMP (the extension of Hawaii Kai Drive and Kamilo Street) would be the only road used to access the cemetery so that traffic in the Cove would not be impacted. Mr. McCorriston replied that it would be.
Elizabeth Reilly asked, as a member of the Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, if the cemetery developers would be willing to visit the valley and see how the project is and could be affecting the farmers. Mr. McCorriston replied he would be very willing to meet with the farmers.
Mr. McCorriston stated that, according to preliminary studies, 70 to 80% of the drainage problem in the valley would be solved by the construction of the cemetery.
Representative Gene Ward told Mr. McCorriston that all of Hawaii Kai is looking at the cemetery issue and suggested a community advisory group be formed to monitor the situation.
A question was asked if the environmental studies are available for the public to view. Mr. McCorriston replied that some are available now but some will not be available until the summer.
At the end of the meeting, Mr. McCorriston showed a chart with a plan for the cemetery but stated it would be changed and the final presentation will be in July.
Gary Weller requested that the HKMP be a better neighbor to Mariner’s Cove between now and July.