The public hearing on the Ritz Carlton Waikiki Beach towers for a PDR permit from the DPP was held today. There were approximately 25-30 people attending. Here’s a brief wrap.
First, you can hear the brief Hawaii Public Radio coverage here: http://hawaiipublicradio.org/post/ritz-carlton-waikiki-needs-city-approvals
There were 15 submitted written testimonies opposing, and 7 were for the project.
Only a few gave oral testimony.
Craig and I both spoke and brought attention to the blaring stairwell lighting on the backside of Tower 1 coming from both stairwells. The DPP seemed to be concerned and hopefully, we will see some changes in order to mitigate the spotlight effect on Four Paddle and surrounding area.
We also pointed out that the DPP has created a lack of any confidence in the DPP to listen to the community. And that the reason for the low turnout today is a direct result of all the past efforts having fallen on deaf ears. We reiterated how absolutely no changes were affected as a result of letters and votes by the Waikiki Neighborhood Board, letters and testimonies from the community, and that the DPP even ignored the Design Advisory Committee who stated in the public record, that they saw no reason to divert from the WSD Guidelines in the Tower 1 decision for approval.
Ben Sedowski, from United Local 5 also spoke on behalf of the community, echoing the same series of events and complaints about how the DPP ignored the community and secondly, they allowed the developer to proceed with construction without non-conditional permits being issued.
Rick Egged spoke his usual “high praise” for this project He has never once supported any concerns by the Neighborhood board or the community throughout this entire project.
All in all, we hope the DPP will follow up on the stairwell lighting concerns. And we hope they heard our dissatisfaction with the process of public hearings and testimonies not being heard. It’s better than being silent. Maybe someday they will hear enough of this and decide to gain back some public credibility.
The DPP is expected to rule on the permit around June 22.
We also anticipate that the Developer could be asked to provide additional public benefits to Waikiki, …like other Developers have done on similar sized developments in the city.