LETTER: Community Meeting Reveals County Exemptions

March 15, 2016, 11:42 AM HST
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letters to the editor 123The County of Hawaii has allowed for many exemptions for this type of activity on private and county land. State DLNR officials have said that this area is not their jurisdiction because the area being altered is not state land. Lalakea is considered a county park, and there is an agreement with “Friends of the Park” to make all of these improvements.

On paper all changes being made to Lalakea appear to be covered and approved by the County of Hawaii planning department. I’m still confused as to why the County of Hawaii agreed to issue a private agreement to alter the public area without notifying the public and getting feedback from concerned citizens. The Environmental Assessment was exempted and that is still of concern.

The County of Hawaii handled this incredibly poorly in the eyes of the community and the public.  Its as if they didn’t think anyone would notice.  If they had communicated to people from the start there likely would not have been such an upset. I know that I am very passionate about protecting this place where I grew up and that is why I questioned everything about this. The only way to protect these treasured areas from further development is if we ask our lawmakers to designate them as conservation lands. Reach out to the County Council and ask for a review on this issue.

E kala mai, I didn’t do enough research on some of the allegations I made, and as I found out later, many of them were wrong.  I seek peace and forgiveness with anyone I may have offended.

Ardena Saarinen

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