Pupukea Pushback: Shark's Cove Village
Pupukea pushback over a retail development called the Shark's Cove Village. The developer denies he tried to circumvent the process. KITV's Cattherine Cruz has details on a brewing controversy.
It's a 3-acre parcel where you can now buy fish tacos and shrimp, as well as bikinis and other beachwear.
The developer Hanapohaku LLC hopes to transform the area adding much needed restrooms and a more welcoming environment.
The project is directly across from a marine conservation district, and a community watchdog group is worried what the impact development like this might have.
"The community is very protective. They want to know what is going on," said Bob Leinau of Malama Pupukea-Waimea, a nonprofit group that's taken on the stewardship of the marine resource.
At a meeting of the Sunset Community Association hosted Wednesday night, members vented their frustration about what they see is a piecemeal approach to the plan.
"So the question is, what about traffic? What about waste streams? How much water is the project going to use?" said Leinau.
The lawmaker who represents the area is asking the city to rescind the permits it issued because the project has caught the community by surprise.
"It looks for all intensive purposes, like they segmented into three smaller parts to avoid a environmental assessment and traffic study. That is a concern, because the marine sanctuary is a high priority for protection," said Sen. Gil Riviere.
The developer is installing the first of three wastewater systems to protect the environment. It's a first in an area mostly served by cesspools.
"They want to be low impact and they want to make sure everything works in increments, instead of building a $10 million mall. They don't want to do that. They want to build a few small structures," said Nguyen Le of Wai Pono Pure, who has been hired to install the wastewater systems.
Five structures to be exact, each about 600 square feet.
The plan is for some retail space, but with an area for food trucks and possibly an urgent care facility.
"I am not as concerned about what is proposed for the property. What I am very worried about is the process. There has been no community discussion and the way they have gone about the permitting is concerning to me," Riviere said.
The city's planning and permitting department said it may take another look at the project.
The neighborhood board takes up the issue next week. The developer will be there to answer questions.