On May 30, 2012 the Developers hosted a meeting with a limited number of board members plus a few owners from the Four Paddle and 2121 Ala Wai buildings. The meeting was limited to only 20 people. – We hope they will offer another larger meeting for more owners from all affected buildings. And give people plenty of notice. The notice to owners for this meeting was only 2 days in a hard to read memo posted in the elevators.
Anyway, we absolutely appreciated the meeting and presentation that they organized. They had 3 people there (the Architect and 2 others representing the developers). They went through most of the same slides which were shown at the Waikiki Neighborhood Board meeting on May 8th, along with some additional slides.
Some of the additional slides displayed dotted outlines of their planned building in comparison to the old plans. They also showed more ground level and exterior drawings of the building. Everyone thought it looked nice, but the only issue that everyone strongly voiced that they were against, was the orientation of the building and the amount of blockage to other buildings, as well as other important public viewpoints, (Saratoga Rd, Fort Derussey, the Beach, Launiu St, the mountains, Makiki, and immediately below on Kalakaua Blvd and Kuhio Ave). More on this in another post…
The meeting was calm for the most part. Everyone had a chance to voice their opinions. And we appreciated that they listened. Although, they showed no signs or willingness to alter their plans.
Again, as in the May 8th meeting, they focused on the “public view” from Kalakaua and Ala Moana Blvd street intersections. Saying that this was the most important public viewpoint, and therefore reason for them to build the building parallel, not perpendicular. Please note, that they’re only talking about the area of sky-view above the Gateway Hotel Waikiki, which already sits at the pointed intersection of Kalakaua and Kuhio. So, there’s no blockage of Diamond Head, since you can’t see Diamond Head from this public viewpoint anyway.
During the meeting, the developers put up a slide showing a graphic of the view blockage difference from the Kalakaua/Ala Moana viewpoint, comparing both a parallel and perpendicular building plan. Their placement of the perpendicular building in the slide seemed to unnecessarily maximize the blockage of view from Kalakaua. They said it would be a 250% increase in blockage. In all reality, that seemed over exaggerated, and didn’t include any rounded corners, as in the previous developer’s plans. In our estimate and from our own drawings, we estimate the increased blockage from this viewpoint would at most be 30% to 40%, not 250%. We’ll post our own drawing soon…
Anyway, it was obvious, that they are sticking to their guns and are going to push this wall through any way they can. Our only options now, are to appeal to City Council and the DPP (Department of Planning and Permitting). So, if you can write well and focus on the issue of public viewpoint blockage (Saratoga Rd, Fort Derussey, the Beach, Launiu St, the mountains, Makiki, and immediately below on Kalakaua Blvd and Kuhio Ave), and other issues, please do so. And post comments here to let us know. Remember, “public viewpoint” is the issue that holds water. Private views are apparently, not considered in the permitting process. We do not know the details of this, but the developers have pointed out multiple times that they do not have to make any adjustments, due to private views being lost. (If you know more details about these rules, please post them in a comment).