Letters for Tuesday, February 13, 2007

• A plea for the Eastside

• Letter to the Planning Commission

• Letter No. 2

• Pedestrian access at issue, too


A plea for the Eastside

I am a Kaua‘i resident (25 years) who has lived in the Wailua Homesteads for 17 years, and I am a registered voter. I strongly urge the Planning Commissioners to reconsider their “yes” vote from the last hearing for the two Eastside resort developments. These developments must be substantially scaled back or completely stopped now, before the Eastside of our island becomes totally unlivable. The impact of these resorts on the people living on Kaua‘i — as the developments are now designed — far exceeds any economic benefit from tourists who might stay at the resorts. Why have we not been wise enough to learn the lessons of Maui, Laguna Beach, Carmel, etc. — beautiful places that have been ruined by the greed of developers and individuals who did not look beyond the pocketbook vote?

If it is true that the “Coconuts” project developers are requesting that the commissioners modify or delete the conditions of approval and omit the design review, they are acting totally irresponsibly and, if the Planning Commission agrees to their requests, your irresponsibility to the people of Kaua‘i will lead to costs to our island that will far exceed any financial benefits that might accrue from the development.

Please, please, please! I beg you: Protect the integrity and the ‘aina of our beautiful island. Once we pave it over, there’s no going back. We will have knowingly destroyed a paradise and the home of native peoples for over 2,000 years. Do not allow this to happen. You have tremendous power right now, and also a tremendous responsibility to the residents, present and future, of Kaua‘i.

Gail M. Stevens

Kapa‘a


Letter to the Planning Commission

Dear Commissioners,

Please accept this late testimony on the Waipouli-area projects under review for approval. I ask that the commissioners reconsider their approval. The combined projects will greatly impact an already overwhelmed area. We need to improve on infrastructure in the region before approving these kinds of projects. According to The Garden Island newspaper, several of you had major issues with the scope of the projects but granted conditional approval. I urge you to reconsider your tentative support for the project and vote in solidarity with your other commissioners who rejected the proposal as submitted.

Please vote with future generations in mind; those who will inherit the consequences of our decisions will appreciate this consideration. Please vote in support of Kaua‘i, whose residents will appreciate that their voice of concern about overburdening the ‘aina will be heard by their local government.

Mahalo for your consideration.

James G. Trujillo

Kapa‘a


Letter No. 2

I have sent the following to Mike Laureta for the Planning Commission and would also like to share it with readers of The Garden Island.

I would like to voice my opposition to the proposed developments in the Wailua corridor. I don’t believe the time is right for these projects to be built. As has been pointed out numerous times, the current infrastructure is inadequate to meet the demands placed upon it by these projects. Namely, increased automobile traffic. The $5.4 million the developers are willing to contribute toward a solution is simply not enough. These projects, when completed, will bring the developers a gross revenue of around $500 million. It has been estimated the cost of improving the existing roadways to meet the current and future demand on this area is $40 million and I believe that should be the minimum these developers should contribute. If developments such as these are going to create problems then they should also offer solutions to these problems. Not just a Band-Aid for the problem. I’m not anti-development but, I believe the time has come (actually long past) that developers must have a solution to the problems they create. The project across from Safeway was supposed to have “no significant impact” on traffic there. Anyone that uses that area knows that’s a joke. Because of the poorly designed intersection, it is not uncommon to wait 10 to 15 minutes to get out of the parking lot if you need to go toward Kapa‘a Town during rush hour.

Let’s send a clear message to those who want to develop here that, if your project is going to create a problem, you must also offer a solution to that problem, be it traffic, water/sewage and how’s about affordable employee housing? Giving the amount of the gross revenue these (did I mention a half-billion dollars?) and other developers will be making, they can well afford to solve the problems they create. If need be they can raise their per-unit price. That won’t hurt any of us who live here as 99 percent of us can’t possibly afford them anyway.

Walt Mucha

Kapa‘a


Pedestrian access at issue, too

I am writing to (the Planning Commission) as a resident of Kaua‘i with the following concerns:

First, I feel that the timing of these developments on Kaua‘i is of concern. Adequate infrastructure is not in place to accommodate its impacts. This includes the lack of employees currently on Kaua‘i to properly support these developments.

Second, if the Planning Commission chooses to approve these applications, it should do so only if substantial mitigation of these impacts occurs — particularly in relation to significant traffic concerns.

Third, mitigation measures should include significant enhancements to pedestrian access for resort developments front the Waipouli beach front, from the Kauai Sands through the proposed Coconut Plantation Holdings, LLC project to connect to the Waipouli (Foodland) Shopping Center and the Kauai Village (Safeway) Shopping Center, and the county’s planned multi-use pathway system in the Wailua-Waipouli area.

The existing pedestrian amenities are not conducive to our visitors or residents safely accessing the area on foot. By not providing alternative travel modes, we are only adding to the traffic problems in the area.

The provision of improved pedestrian alternatives connecting with the county’s proposed multi-use pathway system would allow for safe alternative access to recreation, shopping, and restaurant areas from the Kintaro’s shopping center between Papaloa Street and Kuhio Highway, through the Coconut Marketplace, and on to the Mokihana of Kauai Condominiums/Bull Shed Restaurant and new Waipouli Beach Resort areas.

For the proposed developments before the Planning Commission, a multi-use pathway in this area should consist of a minimum 10-foot-wide concrete pavement surface, following the coast to and along the northern boundary of the proposed Coconut Plantation Holdings development and make a safe connection to the shopping centers mentioned previously.

You have the opportunity and responsibility to ensure that adequate and safe pedestrian alternatives are put in place for all use and enjoy. I am hopeful that you will make the right decision.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Shane Richmond

Lihu‘e

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