Watchdogs fight new parking lot at Waikiki War MemorialUPDATED 7:43 PM HST May 29, 2014Video Transcript
There's about to be a new dogfight over the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium complex. Watchdog groups who don't agree on much are all coming together... questioning a proposal to replace green space with a parking lot. KITV's Catherine Cruz reports the city could have another fight on its hands. It's new at six. The Kapiolani Park Preservation Society says it has tried to keep out of the fray over the fate of the natatorium. But now it's jumping in... Members are dead set against the city turning this grassy area into a place for more cars to park. - Alethea 6:27-6:31 "I have not heard of anybody who likes that plan I dont know where it came from," The city sees it as part of an overall plan to improve the park if it razes the natatorium and the restrooms. It is considering removing this internal roadway and to add a new place to park. Alethea Rebman 5:55-6:07 - "As far as the plans to take green park land for parking, we are opposed to that. There are strict rules about exiting parking and whats its for and how much there should be has not been determined by the court, but adding parking is going to be problematic especially when it takes away green land like that" The Friends of the Natatorium hasnt taken a formal position on it but it's president is is real clear, he thinks its a bad idea. - Mo Radke 2:43-2:48 -"As a triathlete we use thats a place to do transition training that is something I would never lose to a parking lot," Beachgoers we checked with are split. They would like more parking, but not at the expense of a place to hang out. - Mo Radke 2: 56 -3:05 -"To add more parking and take away land where we can sit and families can picnic, and to train, and have athletic events and things, I think thats going to problem," The society also notes that internal road used to be a historic carriage way. Rick Bernstein of the Save Kaimana Beach Coalition supports keeping the drive way but making it one way-- with a new way out. The bigger question over what to do with the crumbling arch and pool has a new wrinkle, with the recent designation as a "treasure" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation Trust. The Historic Hawaii Foundation has also renewed the question over whether the city can legally demolish the war monument--signally what could be the start of another legal challenge. A recent webpost may sum it up best: The waikiki war memorial is more perfect than we have realized. Since it was built, there has been nothing but war surrounding its presence. The city has been allowing stakeholders early input on the EIS. But it may not have realized the plans for the side lot would become a side battle. The public will get its change to weigh in once the EIS is made public this summer. Back to you.