I was saddened and dismayed when I saw the berm erected on the Pfleuger
development which interrupts the lovely view of the ocean from the highway. I
know many other people on Kaua’i felt and do feel the same way.
however, after the article in The Garden Island that said our County Engineer,
Caesar Portugal, prematurely allowed the massive dirt work to proceed without
the proper County permits in place, and furthermore, that it was his
engineering company which was hired to do all the work, I feel anger at the
blatant disrespect for the rules and regulations which are supposed to be for
the welfare of the island as a whole and which most people are made to
It is especially disturbing to learn from the article that the
extensive moving of dirt in that development impacts the water resources of
native Hawaiian kuleana lands.
Also, the rationalizing by Mr. Portugal
that only a modest number of homes would be built on the sizable area ignores
the fact that as ag lots it is possible for the lots when sold to be promptly
condominized and for several times Mr. Portugal’s projected number of dwellings
then to be constructed.
Finally and sadly, the Pfleuger/Portugal deal
reinforces once again the perception that the way to do business on Kaua’i is
based on mutual back scratch.
I appreciate the fact that the berm will
protect the privacy and view of the future owners of the lots, and I am sure
that Mr. Pfleuger will do an excellent job of landscaping the berm, but the
benefits to the people who buy the lots comes at a cost to the island as a
I hope that the Board of Ethics will take this matter under
consideration since the role of the County Engineer and Portugal &
Associates in the Pfleuger development appears to be a direct conflict of
interest and a violation of the County ethics code.
addition to the ethical aspects of a County official’s company’s involvement in
the construction of the Pfleuger berm, it also appears that while the County
says it wants to preserve the “view plane” it does not do so when powerful
development interests are involved.