The East Honolulu Community Coalition

The East Honolulu Community Coalition (EHCC) is of the position that we
cannot endorse the FEIS as it is written. Until the Carrying Capacity Study
is completed, and the educational program and fiscal management concerns are
fully defined, we cannot support any new construction at Hanauma Bay Nature

These are some of our objections:


We prefer to see the Carrying Capacity study completed (June 2000) before
we commit to building an Education Center, so the Center can be effectively
planned and sized appropriately. This project should be based on what the
report and data has to recommend, otherwise, why did we commission such an
expensive study and why are the results being down-played now? (Completion
date of study versus the Dec. deadline to spend the possible $13.5 million of
CIP money).
We believe and insist that only the absolute essentials should be allowed
in the "Nature Preserve". A vision and definition of Nature Preserve needs to
be reexamined.
No Hawaiians or Hawaiian groups were included in the planning or Task
Many concerns have been raised on several issues regarding the project.
It is clear that the people who truly represent the our community still have
many questions and concerns on the financials, the design, pedestrian traffic
flow, population limitation measures and new management plans. There are
still many important details left undefined (ie. education program,
maintenance cost).
Many members on the Task Force where not in agreement with several issues
and recommendations. Additionally, most members feel that their ideas,
concerns and input where not considered or even recorded in the official
Meeting Minutes on purpose. Consensus was reached on a majority of
recommendations because of the number of people voting who have a direct
interest or relationship to the project (ie. Architects, Administrators of
the Bay, City & County officials, ect.).
Additionally, we have found conflicts, inaccuracies and false statements
in testimonies given to City Council and the Public (ie. News media) given
by the above mentioned.
The plans do not accurately describe the project and give a false sense
of the true design. The color drawings are misleading and confusing. They do
not show elements like: the large gravel roofs on top of both the earth
berms, concrete walkways and plazas, 6 foot fences everywhere, the service
road, ramps, tables and chairs at the Snack Bar.
We prefer more time and community input to come up with a world-class
design that will be creative, inexpensive, minimal in its impact on the
environment and local access, effective in its message to visitors without
delay, and more in the "Aloha spirit". A design competition should/could have
been done
The proposed improvements will cost over $10.4 million in CIP money (or
over $17.5 million to taxpayers), and will burden the bay with an increased
annual debt service of over 1.2 million per year for the next 25 years. The
Bays 1999 revenue was $2,523,000.00 and cost $2,421,000.00 to run. A surplus
of only $102,000. Where will over a million dollar a year difference come
How did a project that originally was advertised to cost $13.5 million,
yet was cut back by half, end up with a cost estimate of over $10.4 million
dollars? This estimate was given in Sept. 99 and what was it based on? Many
details and sizes have changed. A final estimate will be higher including and
additional $500,000 architectural design contingency.
The plan has changed considerably since the FEIS was released (ex. Marine
Education Center with Snack Bar included was to be 7,000-7,500 sq. ft. but
new estimates are well over 13,000 sq. ft. for both [pg.3-7 FEIS]). An
amendment(s) to the FEIS is needed addressing all changes and their impact
prior to any more council approval.
The FEIS never mentions the excavation needed for the buildings or a gift
shop that will now be located along the cliff over-looking the bay. Large
meeting rooms with convenience kitchens have been added.
There has never been a financial or economic plan on how much it will
cost to run and maintain the Bay after the improvements. Additional employees
and operating costs will exceed the current revenue for the Bay. Where will
this money come from? An audit and other financial concerns need to be
addressed accurately and immediately. "Article 51" and how the monies at the
Bay are prioritized and accounted for is not being followed now nor will it
in the future. Is this legal and how can they plan contrary to future
economic consequences?
We believe that if "Article 51" is changed, and if the entire concessions
rent/permit money goes back to the Bay Fund; that the Bay could be
self-sufficient and pay for its improvement projects in steps without using
CIP money now. Future left-over monies would go to a Parks Maintenance Fund.
According to the Bishop estate deed, all money generated on the deeded
land must be spent on the deeded land. This goes against the past practice of
having the concession rent/permit money (approx. $1 million per year) go to
the City and County General Fund.
The current plan involves the removal of the existing Upper Bay buildings
that were built less than 5 years ago, yet we will still be paying a large
debt service for over the next 16 years. This project is being rushed. We
cannot afford to make another costly mistake. Rushing a project of this size
and type only increases the likelihood of making mistakes and overlooking
alternative approaches.
We feel that such a large Education Center (11,000+ sq. ft.) seems
excessive for the proposed 5-minute educational video.
We question the need and use of a video. Will it achieve its purpose and
how? This facility is depending on what this video hopefully achieves?
Teaching the visitors the 5-7 habits they want to avoid while staying at
the Bay can be done in a very easy, inexpensive, low-impact, and timely
fashion with Aloha. There are alternate solutions that need to be considered.
The video is suppose to last 5 minutes and accommodate 125 people at a
time, 6 times an hour (every 10 minutes) or 750 people per hour.
Occasionally, over a thousand people per hour can enter the Bay. How can they
handle the people deficit........tell them to wait again (after the waiting
in the ticket line)? The line for the trolley would be a third line.
We believe that the traffic flow patterns and time rates for visitors
will create delays and long lines resulting in an unpleasant experience that
will reflect bad on the Bay and Hawaii (just another tourist trap). Local
people will lose interest in visiting because of the inconveniences that will
be associated the Bay
Why was the development of the education program considered last (just
started). "Educating the Visitor" was what this building was to be for and
what is suppose to help save the Bay.
A 2,300 sq. ft. snack bar is unnecessary and will be located in an
inconvenient and unspoiled natural area where it is very windy (trash).
We believe that Group 70 has not had enough time to accurately design and
specify all the details in order to give the contractors enough time and
information to fairly bid the project. This is one design solution done in
haste. We want simple, low-cost, low-impact alternatives developed.
Large earthen Berms and amount of concrete and use of fences is not
natural or flexible and will forever change how we see and experience our
so-called Nature Preserve. Why were residents concerns and ideas never
considered in the design process? They consistently asked for low impact, low
cost, simple, timely, environmentally sensitive solutions in a Hawaiian
Style. How was this representative of those request? How did this mutate and
evolve into the exact opposite? Large, expensive, complex, inconvenient,
poorly planned, environmentally insensitive and in the Tourist theme park
Management issues also need to be addressed to aid in the necessary
changes needed at the park to enhance the visitors experience while helping
to maintain and protect it.
We feel that the real vision and project mission has been grossly
misinterpreted. What constitutes a "Nature Preserve"? We need to "Preserve
and Protect" the Bay from over-development. The man-made imitations are
unnatural looking and do not reflect the parks natural beauty.
How will this project effect the people of Hawaii and our right to beach
access guarantee by law? How will the issues of a timely access and
pedestrian traffic flow be addressed? How will the way the locals experience
and enjoy the Bay change?
Finally, we object to the process and misinformation of community
involvement on this project. From the beginning, the community was left out
of the planning process and only a select few took part in the original and
final plans. Furthermore, after participation by many residents in the Task
Force, many feel that their participation and input was extensive but their
ideas and concerns failed to be recognized and recorded in the Task Force
Minutes. Most of their ideas and concerns were ignored or never considered in
the final designs or plans. The meetings and designs were controlled by a
select few and alternative designs were never considered or developed.
The communications between the local government and the community on
projects needs to be improved. We are willing to go back to the table to help
solve some of these important issues. We share a common goal for the bay and
believe that informing visitors is paramount and some improvements are
necessary to enhance the management of the Bay. Please, No more top-down
planning and wasting of time and money.


We agree with the part of the plan that removes the buildings at the old
Job Corps Site and restore the area for future planning and use by the
District Park. Consult the new master plan being developed by Group 70 for
the District Park and Job Corps Site.


We agree with most of INK ARCHITECTS plans that deal with the Lower Bay.
The improvements to the Beach Access Road are both necessary and
justifiable. There are many questions about the "under-grounding" of the
electric, water and sewage lines underneath the complex and expensive
($180,000) access road where it would be very costly to access and repair
while creating a traffic/pedestrian hazard. We recommend that these services
only be upgraded and routed though the same area and method as exist now.
Additionally, there are concerns about the drainage plan for the lower
Bay. No provisions have been made to correct silt from possibly entering the
bay after a lengthy rainstorm. This could cause more harm to the inner Bay
than could the combined human impact over years. The drainage should be
diverted to a retention basin along the cliff where Nau Paka could be planted
and would be a barrier so visitors would not set-up underneath the dangerous
cliff hazards.
The issue on planting too many palm trees has been pointed out several
times. They are both a costly maintenance and safety liability.

EHCC is a grass-roots coalition made up of a wide range of local residents.
We formed EHCC in response to the mayors overly ambitious project and
convinced him to withdraw his proposal in favor of "a clean slate in which
the community will be involved". Many residents took this offer serious and
participated over the last 5 months on the "Hanauma Bay Improvement Task
Force". Unfortunately, the result was a tightly controlled agenda by a small
core group of the mayors appointees, where by the ideas and concerns of
community were never considered and many questions and details still need to
be addressed. These new plans do not fairly acknowledge the wishes and needs
of the "people of Hawaii" and will reflect negatively on the tourist
industry. We only want what is right for one of Hawaii's most beautiful and
precious jewels, so that All the people of Hawaii and the World can enjoy it
without harming it. We agree that some improvements to enhance the Bay while
helping to preserve and protect a "Nature Preserve" and a form of "educating
the people of the 5 to 7 habits they want to avoid while visiting the Bay is
necessary in order to help preserve and protect the Bay". However, we
disagree with a large $17.5 million dollar disguised office facility with a
forced education program resulting in many different lines and increased
delays to visitors before entering the Bay. Locals are one step away from
losing what little access we have to the Bay, to a project that caters to the
administrators of the Bay and a "Tourist theme park". It goes for a final
approval vote in front of the full City Council on Nov. 10th. Contact EHCC
at 373-2556 or email us at and feel free to pass on this
information. Time is short and we need your help.

Robert Reeder
EHCC spokesman

p.s. We will be having a sign waving this Friday 4-6pm on Kalanianaole hwy.
across from Roys restaurant in Hawaii Kai. Please come and bring a sign or
make one with us at 3:30.
Please join us for our EHCC meeting on Monday (11-8-99) @ 7:00pm at Koko
Head District Park- Meeting/Lounge room.