Overdevelopment could ruin Kauai

It is unacceptable to place more development/traffic into the Kapaa area before major infrastructure is done. Please get serious about the problem!

We, who live and work in the Kapaa area, are already heavily burdened with traffic that causes horrible delays of up to an hour one way during the heavy traffic of the early and later part of the day. To allow building of another 800-house development without the infrastructure to support it and create an unrealistic high level of traffic gridlock is a serious error in judgement on the part of any official involved. 

The studies need to be updated and some common sense needs to be used. The Kauai Long-Range Land Transportation Implementation Plan developed in 1997 (updated September 2014) for extensive road widening in the areas affected by the proposed zoning change, has not met its 2000 and 2006 deadlines for Kapaa. Therefore, the plan implementation will not serve the needs of Hokua Place’s 1,600-plus addition vehicle load in a timely fashion.

The EISPN does not address that overdue road widening has to be completed before granting Hokua Place any further permits. The developers must pay for the infrastructure necessary to serve the development. We taxpayers and our local government should not be burdened with that bill!

There is no justification for allowing this plan to go forward until after the infrastructure is already in place to handle the existing needs of the community and any additional load. Our traffic, since the tourism has returned to Kauai, is unbearable already. Also, there are three hotels soon to add to the traffic in Kapaa, and the issues of storm water runoff and contamination, sewage! Can it smell any worse in Wailua and at the Lydgate treatment plant? Are we going to “overflow” and have “sewage beach” biohazard signs on our beaches like what happens in California? What about even more household waste in the overloaded landfill?

Another very serious concern: As a medical professional with years of experience in a major trauma hospital, I can tell you without reservation that the amount of time for transport of an injured or critically ill patient is the No. 1 factor is survival and recovery. Gridlock of traffic causes death and advanced injury in patients that would otherwise have survived and recovered well. Imagine how you would feel if you or your loved ones die or are harmed because of lack of adequate roads and horrible gridlocked traffic. Are you willing to accept that your choices to go forward without proper and safe infrastructure can and will lead to the death and injury of many people?

What about the legal liability? Those who wrongfully allow such things to happen should be and may be open to legal action, like class action lawsuits, from families who lost loved ones, once it is proven that there was an error in judgement (easy to do in this case with all the documentation).

Further, please use foresight: Why do we get so much money — billions of dollars— from tourism? Because we are the Garden Island, not the overdeveloped, polluted Maui island. Do we really want Kauai to become like Maui? Tourists from all over the world talk about how happy they are that Kauai isn’t developed like Maui and Oahu.

There is always talk about “progress” by short-sighted people and how you “can’t stop progress,” so I ask you to consider very carefully. Progress toward what?

Progressing toward overdevelopment that destroys what Kauai is most loved and world famous for? Is that progress to you? The island fathers took steps long ago to make sure we didn’t lose the beauty and majesty of Kauai. Please think about what we risk losing and do the right thing. Stop this nonsense before it is too late. Stop foolish actions now that will cause worse problems later.

Respectfully, a voice of reason with aloha.

Brett D. Woods R.N. is a Wailua Homesteads resident

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