Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Historic Loko Ea Fishpond faces urbanization

By Henry Curtis

In the late 1990s developer and former state Senator D.G. "Andy" Anderson proposed a 130-foot high Ferris wheel in Kaka`ako as part of a $138 million development which would include a miniature golf course, a carousel, restaurants and retail shops.

He told me at that time, that residents would be able to, from the top of the Ferris Wheel, look down and see tourists on Waikiki Beach.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) killed the idea after the public rallied against a mini-Disneyland on their waterfront.

Around 2001, Andy Anderson evicted about 100 people who lived in affordable homes and apartments near the world-famous Velzyland surf spot on O`ahu’s North Shore, razed the property, built an up-scale, gated, and walled community, and destroyed the blue view for motorists on the highway. Local resident Cora Sanchez was a leader in opposing the project.

The rentals that were destroyed had monthly rents of around $700 for a three bedroom unit, while Andy Anderson is said to have sold each of the 29 lots for $350,000 to $1.5 million.

Honolulu Weekly noted that Anderson dismissed concerns about the 7-foot walls that blocked the blue view: “We’re not blocking any view that anyone had before … there are walls and fences all the way up and down the North Shore ...In fact, for the very first time in years, the public will have direct, legal access to the beach.”

George Downing, spokesman for Save Our Surf, noted at that time that there were no beach parks with adequate facilities located between Malaekahana State Park and Haleiwa Beach Park.

One of the conditions the city “required” was a small piece of land between Anderson’s Sunset Beach Colony and the City and County of Honolulu’s undeveloped Waialee Beach Park.

The access road built by the developer was not designed for emergency vehicles, had limited parking, and for years the City did not allow it to be used. Furthermore, the “park” had no lifeguard and no bathrooms.

Sam Lemmo, then Coastal Lands Program manager for the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) wanted 80 foot set-backs instead of 60 feet. But the developer complained he couldn’t pencil it out and make a profit, so the set-backs remained at 60 feet.

In 2003 heavy rains overwhelmed the property causing mud to turn the ocean brown. Mike Tsuji, enforcement section supervisor at the Department of Health's Clean Water Branch, noted the developer had started work before getting the permits, had not installed proper runoff devices, and inadequate runoff protection devices.

Anderson quickly noted that the property contains sand not dirt, that mauka areas were to blame, that there were similar conditions where he lives in Kahala, and blamed environmentalists for unfairly attacking him.

In 2004 Andy Anderson proposed another massive development of the Kakaako Waterfront including a trade center that looks like a canoe with Hokulea sails, a chapel, boat harbor, retail stores, residences, and perhaps a hotel.

Now Andy Anderson has proposed a hotel on the shore of Loko Ea Fishpond, which was built in the 17th century. Queen Lilioukalani built her summer palace on the banks of the pond. Anderson’s dream property would include land across the street from Haleiwa Beach Park which is used by the Haleiwa Arts Festival. Just up the street is the beach site for storing and launching canoes for racing.

Opposing the project are several groups including Friends of Hale`iwa Beach Park Coalition, Hui o He`e Nalu, Surfrider Foundation O`ahu Chapter, Sunset Beach Community Association, Friends of Kukaniloko, Sierra Club O`ahu Chapter, Hawaii's Thousand Friends and Life of the Land.

Henry Curtis


With regret we need to inform you that the Waialua Hawaiian Civic club is not to be listed as a memebr of the Coalition.

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