Controversial berm cut down to size

Land shaved to five feetBy DENNIS WILKEN

TGI Staff Writer

KILAUEA — There’s been a leveling of intensity in the

controversial berm issue surrounding a site north of Kuhio Highway and just

south of old Kilauea town.

The property, owned by James Pflueger, was

bounded, behind existing shrubbery, by a large berm that drew the ire of North

Shore community activists.

But as of Monday, the berm, which blocked ocean

views from the highway, was being graded back down to the five-foot height

approved by the Kaua’i County engineer’s office in a grading permit earlier

this year.

In a letter dated July 20, deputy county engineer Ian K. Costa

told Pflueger that the berm did not correspond to the approved drawings, in

that:

* They show a setback of 10 feet from the toe of the berm to the

property line, whereas the actual toe of the graded berms is located at the

property line with little or no setback.

* And the approved drawings show a

maximum height of five feet for the proposed berms, whereas the actual height

of the constructed berms ranges from a minimum of five feet to a maximum of 12

to 15 feet.

Further, Costa advised that either the permit drawings would

“need to be amended to reflect conditions at the project site, or the site

conditions will need to be corrected to match the approved drawings.”

In

addition, Costa advised Pflueger that the minimum setback for higher berms is

six feet, and to deviate from that would require approval from abutting

landowners.

Pflueger could not be reached for comment. But if actions speak

louder than words, it appeared Monday that he was reshaping the berms and

setbacks to match the permit he applied for months ago.

The grading permit

fee for the project, as approved, was $1,400. But, according to Costa’s letter,

the much larger berms would have required a fee of $25,000.

Staff

writer Dennis Wilken can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) and

dwilken@pulitzer.net

A bulldozer shaves off the top of the Kilauea

berm that blocked the view of the ocean from the highway.

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