Area legislators Representative Ohno, Senator Rhoads, and I met with approximately 70 residents during our February community meeting at Lanakila Elementary School. During the meeting, my colleagues and I discussed various issues of immediate concerns to Liliha/abutting neighborhoods, including the incursion of ‘monster homes’, state and county infrastructure projects, and the status of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority’s School Street redevelopment.
During our Q/A session, we fielded responses to written questions from residents. For those requiring agency responses, we are asking city and state agencies for responses. Here’s a selection of some of the questions I answered at the meeting:
Question: Is any legislation being proposed to address the lack of permeable surfaces on properties with monster homes, which causes increased runoff in watershed communities like Alewa Heights?
Response: The City Council adopted Resolution 17-276 last year, which requires the Department of Planning and Permitting and its advisory group to come up with corrective legislation to close the ‘monster home’ loophole. We will make sure that the stricter zoning/building code requirements require adequate drainage for actual multi-generational single-family homes, and strictly enforce against monster home impacts on surrounding neighbors.
Question: Are they (e.g., city planners) planning to remove street parking between Bates Street and Judd Street (as part of Complete Streets)?
Response: DTS consultants are planning to share a third alternative to Complete Streets plans for Nuuanu Avenue in mid-March. The consultants have reported that the third alternative removes the proposed bicycle lanes on Nuuanu Avenue featured in previous plans in response to strong opposition from Nuuanu Avenue condo residents.
Question: What is the status of the fire sprinkler retrofit mandate?
Response: Bill 69, CD1, FD1 is pending before the Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee, which would have to act on the measure one last time before it can be adopted on third and final reading. We anticipate that RFSAC and condo stakeholders are working on revised fire safety evaluation criteria and scoring to make the evaluation process more flexible for condo associations and owners rather than requiring mandatory retrofits.
Question: With so many urgent issues facing the City and County, how will they be funded as long as the rail project is stressing our financial resources?
Response: The City Council and the Auditor exercise oversight over HART and City administration spending on mass transit costs. The Council will work with the Auditor and HART/City agencies to require transparency and accountability.
Please contact Roelle Torres of my staff at 768-5071 if you have any additional questions.