Should the Envision Laie Project be Built?

R. Eric Beaver,
President & CEO of
Hawaii Reserves Inc.

YES

I grew up in Laie, a great place for children, a haven for families. My wonderful childhood, spent largely on the water and in the mountains, was made possible by great-grandparents who came to Laie in 1924 to eternally unite their family in the Laie Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I am a grateful beneficiary of their work as labor missionaries for the Church College of Hawaii (now BYU Hawaii) and the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC), where I received a wonderful education and valuable work experience, which helped me eventually to make a living and a home for my family in Koolau Loa.

Sadly, the opportunities for that “better life” are disappearing. Families are being driven out. The shrinking population, lack of affordable homes and increase in second-home purchases are changing the character of our community. There are fewer jobs per household and many people face long commutes to jobs in town. Even BYUH and the PCC, economic anchors, face an unsustainable situation.

That’s why Envision Laie was formed — a collaboration of local residents and Laie’s major institutions. The group’s plan reflects the community’s desire for intergenerational sustainability, promoting a balance of economic, social and environmental priorities.

People who live here want to decide their future and, with Envision Laie, everyone can express their views. Community-based ideas are generated, such as using the old cane-haul road as an alternative to Kamehameha Highway to link Hauula, Laie and Kahuku. Participants’ support for affordable housing at Malaekahana, jobs and future growth options for the university and cultural center has been overwhelming.

As evidence: 100 values interviews, 600-plus workshop participants, a scientific survey of 696 respondents, 1,200 resident signatures, and favorable votes from the Koolauloa Neighborhood Board, Laie Community Association and Kahuku Community Association. In every public forum, the vast majority of residents supported Envision Laie.

We have an exciting opportunity to work together to realize a shared vision that preserves our unique heritage and promises a better life for generations to come.

Creighton Mattoon,
member and past chair of the
Koolauloa Neighborhood Board

 

NO

Honolulu’s General Plan directs growth to the Second City in Ewa and encourages the preservation of agricultural land in Windward Oahu. This plan has directed the spending of our tax dollars for infrastructure, schools, etc., for many years.

The Koolauloa Sustainable Communities Plan maintains and enhances the manmade and natural elements that make Koolauloa’s rural character so special, in contrast to urban Oahu, while allowing for affordable housing on land previously rezoned for this use in Laie and other areas.

The Envision Laie process is funded and promoted by the LDS Church and its subsidiaries. The only thing Envision Laie provides that is not provided in the current plan for Laie is income-producing uses such as market housing and commercial. No attention is paid to impacts on the neighboring communities. At community workshops, a major spokesman for the plan said the communities on either end of the Sustainable Communities Plan area were against any growth in Laie. This despite the fact that these communities have long supported meeting the need for affordable housing in Laie, which has had land designated for this use for more than 20 years with no housing being built.

The expansion would create a new town of Malaekahana, resulting in the urbanization of state-districted, usable agricultural land. The projected population in Laie in 2035 would double its current population and would be more than double the projected increase in population for the entire Koolauloa area. The impact on our infrastructure and resources would be considerable without an infusion of tax dollars currently designated to Ewa. The development plan admits that a new school would be needed while the state Department of Education is proposing to close rural schools to support new schools for Ewa.

Envision Laie is not a Sustainable Community Plan. It is an urbanization plan and would require an amendment to the General Plan as well as a boundary review by the state Land Use Commission and would negate over 20 years of planning and tax dollar allocation.

Hawaii Business magazine invites you to comment on our articles and the issues they raise. Comments are moderated for offensive language, commercial messages and off-topic posts and may be deleted. Some comments may be chosen for inclusion in the magazine on the Feedback page.

Old to new | New to old
Comments, page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 Next »
Jan 8, 2010 04:05 am
 Posted by  Independent Kamaaina

R. Eric Beaver should be overwhelmingly complimented as est HRI PR parrot. His sound bites parroted on this page are half-truths and deceitful . READ http://www.IndependentKamaaina.blogspot.com and decide for yourself.

For example: R.Eric Beaver and BYU-Hawaii Steven Wheelwright appeared on KIPO radio talk show and stated the Hauula Community Association also supported Envision Laie. That is an outright lie. HRI has little support. Envision Laie is for those out of Laie and out of Hawaii.Uuwe!

This has been flagged
Jan 8, 2010 04:14 am
 Posted by  Independent Kamaaina

"As evidence: 100 values interviews, 600-plus workshop participants, a scientific survey of 696 respondents, 1,200 resident signatures, and favorable votes from the Koolauloa Neighborhood Board, Laie Community Association and Kahuku Community Association. In every public forum, the vast majority of residents supported Envision Laie."

HRI counted EVERY participant as supporters! Its consultants paid kupunas $100 for interviews. HRI counts church missionaries, students. management & employees!

This has been flagged
Jan 8, 2010 04:18 am
 Posted by  Independent Kamaaina

As evidence: 100 values interviews, 600-plus workshop participants, a scientific survey of 696 respondents, 1,200 resident signatures, and favorable votes from the Koolauloa Neighborhood Board, Laie Community Association and Kahuku Community Association. In every public forum, the vast majority of residents supported Envision Laie.

HRI counts ALL participants as its supporter! Its consultants paid $100 for interviews. It counts their missionaries, students, relatives, employees. VAST Majority?

This has been flagged
Jan 8, 2010 01:12 pm
 Posted by  Hauula Resident

R. Eric Beaver speaks from both sides of his mouth. If he keeps perpetuating half-truths, weak 'overwhelming support" becomes a fact?

"The shrinking population, lack of affordable homes and increase in second-home purchases are changing the character of our community."

HRI says it needs Envision Laie due to 'pent-up' housing in Laie. Now he's saying shrinking population? 1200 units, retail, etc WILL CHANGE Koolau Loa! Envision Laie HAS second homes and vacation homes, something HRI ridicules!

This has been flagged
Jan 8, 2010 10:45 pm
 Posted by  Ku Kanaka

Independent Kamaaina, brah you don't sound too independent or unbiased! You list your own website as a source and you got your facts wrong.

The Envision reps they had the support of the neighborhood board and Laie Community Association, and were working with the other associations - like Hauula and Kahuku (which later voted in favor).

Most of Laie works at BYU-Hawaii or the Polynesian Cultural Center - are you saying they don't count on a petition because of their workplace or religion?

This has been flagged
Jan 8, 2010 11:03 pm
 Posted by  Ku Kanaka

Correction: "The Envision reps SAID ON THE RADIO they had the support..." Kala mai!

This has been flagged
Jan 10, 2010 04:54 pm
 Posted by  Local Boy

Ku Kanaka, no need get defensive. Just study and read and ask questions. Check out the Koolauloa Neighborhood Board Minutes November 2009. The Hauula Board made huhu that Eric Beaver said they support Envision Laie. It was one big lie.

I think Independent Kama'aina just pointing out the math doesn't add up as overwhelming support, brah. Overwhelming is a word R. Eric Beaver and Steven Wheelwright like to use even if it is a lie.
Maybe if you keep using it, it's gonna stick. LOL.

This has been flagged
Jan 11, 2010 01:11 pm
 Posted by  Ku Kanaka

Relax, Local Boy. 1200 petition signatures for a project in a community of 6000 is plenty enough support. Laie Community Association, Kahuku Community Association and the Koolauloa Neighborhood Board have all voted in support - solid.

Young, local families in our area are struggling to find jobs and homes. This is a great project that will bring much needed relief and revitalization to our community!

This has been flagged
Jan 11, 2010 02:09 pm
 Posted by  Facing Forward

You say "change" and everyone runs screaming. Change is going to happen no matter what anyone does or doesn't do. The question is: are we going to direct the future of our communities, or just let whatevah happen? Do we want more homes, closer employment, and progress? or more crowded conditions, more long commutes to town for work, and decaying infrastructure? It's our choice.

This has been flagged
Jan 11, 2010 02:57 pm
 Posted by  293

Clayton Matoon and other Kuleana land owners would love get rid of us. We and others like me weren't fortunate enough to come from "Means". We don't sit on several acres of land to use as we please. We work hard, pay taxes and just want to enjoy basic rights like home ownership.
Clayton Matoon and others like him in their sprawling estates would like no progress. They would rather us (the little guy) move to town. We have the right to exist here too! I say YES! build it!

This has been flagged
Comments, page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 Next »
Add your comment:

 

Don't Miss an Issue!
Hawaii Business,January