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Hold Haseko accountable for promises made to Ewa Beach community

By Tim Tucker


Question: How to you get a community to support re-zoning agricultural land to build new homes in the area, and home buyers to purchase a home in your development?

Answer: Promise them a marina utopia where they can "Live, Work and Play," and promise them benefits including a $2 million trust fund to support youth and senior citizen groups.

The article about the Ewa Beach Lagoon was a huge slap in the face to anyone who supported the project ("Marina deleted from Ewa Beach resort," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 6).

Developer Haseko made such promises, and hundreds of Ewa Beach residents participated in the process and testified at numerous city and state hearings.

Support came from boaters, commuters excited by a promised ferry system, canoe paddlers, fishermen, divers, surfers, senior citizens, youth coaches and people looking for jobs.

This grassroots group was lauded by the City Council and received a coveted Kapolei Outstanding Achievement award for community service.

Community support helped Haseko gain approval of all the necessary permits to build the marina and homes. Haseko rode the upward cycle in home prices, and profited greatly. On Nov. 29, 1993, Haseko memorialized its promises and executed a unilateral agreement, titled 93-94, which included:

» A pedestrian pathway connecting Oneula Beach Park to the marina entrance.

» Providing 40 percent of golf tee times to Hawaii residents at kamaaina rates.

» Conveying to the city nine acres of beachfront land adjacent to Oneula Beach Park for use as a park.

» Providing $2 million to improve Oneula Beach Park.

» A 20-acre park to be provided at the entrance to the project.

» 50 percent of boat slips and seven launching ramps to be made available to the public.

» Dedicated public access.

» Providing a $2 million endowment to the Hawaii Community Foundation for youth and senior citizen programs.

» Dedicating one acre of land for a new fire station, equipped with rescue boat and trailer.

» Providing for a harbor master and staff.

» Submitting an annual report on the status of the unilateral agreement to the city Department of Land Utilization.

How many of these promises have been kept by Haseko?

Has a marina been built? Nope.

A 20-acre park? Nope.

Nine acres of oceanfront land for new park? Nope.

Two million dollars to upgrade Oneula Park? Nope.

A $2 million endowment for a community trust fund? Nope.

Provide 50 percent of boat slips and launch ramps for the general public? Nope.

Now, instead of the promised marina, Haseko wants to leave behind a closed borrow pit (it calls it a lagoon).

Imagine the millions Haseko will save not building the channel and marina. Imagine the money it will save by not keeping all its promises to the community.

Will the City and County, the state agencies and our current elected officials really allow or even assist this material breach of agreement to occur?

Will the residents who purchased homes in Ocean Pointe, Ewa Beach and the surrounding communities allow what appears to be a massive "bait and switch" to occur without saying anything?

The potential of unkept promises for the Ewa Beach community should serve as a warning to all communities dealing with developers making promises. All promises should be directly linked to building permit approvals, period.

The City and County and state government agencies should immediately step in to enforce the unilateral agreement and Haseko should be held to account.

This reeks of deceptive sales activity, conspiracy to commit fraud on the community and on the city. Perhaps there should also be a criminal investigation.

Maybe a class-action lawsuit is also in order here for the thousands of homebuyers who were duped into buying under false pretenses — marketing brochures and newsletters — that a marina was going to be completed.

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CouncilmanBerg wrote:
The Ewa Neighborhood Board has on its agenda for tonight - HASEKO giving a presentation on the marina-lagoon configuration change- 7pm at the Ewa Beach Library on North Road.
on November 10,2011 | 01:46AM
Mediocrates wrote:
I and my neighbors are very upset about these changes and more so about how we were all told about them after Haseko has sold most all of its planned homes in the Ka Makana development. It is clear that they have been planned for some time and that Haselo intentionally sold millions and millions of dollards worth of homes to people with the full knowledge that the upscale "resort community" they were selling would not at all resemble the final product. Instead we the residents of this community will be hosting the Ewa Beach community pool. I was even contacted by the reporter doing the story for a quote, but when the reporter Andrew Gomes, learned I lived in the community he refused to use me as a source because I might have a bias one way or the other on the reported change. But the following day, reporter Dan Nakaso writes a puff-piece with alleged "residents" praising the changes. Three whole people are surveyed, not a single one of which is identified as actually living in the Ka Makana Haseko community. Rep. Kym Pine, for example, who does NOT live in the the Ka Makana Haseko community but elsewhere in Ocean Pointe. The other two people merely talk about going to the beach and a canoe club. A canoe club was part of the marina design, and Haseko is supposed to help clean up the adjacent Oneula Beach park to make it a cleaner, family friendly beach park. Instead the people who bought from Haseko are now being told that WE (not the city or state or any other government) will have to pay to maintain the public pool and park which will surely bring a completely different demographic into our small quite community than would an upscale marina which is what we were buying into. Just look at Haubush and how abused and neglected and lawless it is if you want to imagine the future of this pool -project.
on November 10,2011 | 07:05AM
islandsun wrote:
Another broken promise from a developer. Build their crackerboxes and get out with the money. They should be forced to comply. Another example of the public getting ripped off.
on November 10,2011 | 09:35AM
Kalli wrote:
Tim is right. Haseko sold the community what was to be a great place to live with a marina and resort area and now that most of the easy money has been made they do not want to pay up. They are going to build lagoons fed by "brackish" water. How will they get permits from the dept. of health to allow residents to go into this water? You can't even use the natatorium water because it doesn't flush enough how could a "brackish" lagoon possibly meet any current standards. Best guess is that they will back off from that promise too as they back out of the entire project. The community trusted them too much and now that they have what they want they are bidding the community "aloha". Rep. Pine won't say anything, she is in the pockets of Hoopili developers and Haseko as she wants to run for city council.
on November 10,2011 | 12:31PM
svkamahoi wrote:
The City & County let Jeff Stone close the launch ramp at Ko'Olina with no consequences, I don't expect they'll do their jobs in this case, either.
on November 10,2011 | 02:27PM
HawaiiBigFish wrote:
KoOlina is a thriving Resort and Marina and has provided hundreds, if not thousnads of much needed jobs. In their application for re-zoning dated August 1992, Haseko stated they would build the marina facility in years 4 through 6 of their project and stated this maritime commercial complex will generate 1,500 full-time jobs. How many jobs will be created for an abandoned borrow pit? Perhaps handing out towels at the showers..........
on November 15,2011 | 03:22PM
cojef wrote:
Next time approval is given, it should be stipulated that the community benefits or upgrades be constructed before the development can begin.
on November 10,2011 | 04:37PM
soundofreason wrote:
This will be the Castle & Cooke game plan for the Ewa project's farmlands.
on November 10,2011 | 05:26PM
Leewardboy wrote:
You let them destroy Hau Bush and the surrounding area based on "promises"? The shoreline area is all busted up. What did you think would happen? Remember the developers and the huge wall to keep out the "riff raff" from Ocean Pointe. We the "riff raff" and they will keep treating us as such till we wake up. My grandfather fished this area, my father and my uncles and our friends and me too. Maybe Haseko going to raise mullet and make a huge fishpond. Well - too late now for the beach. In case anyone thinks I miss Oneula Beach Park - that is the worse idea they came up with. Used to be an okay area - brushy but not too messed up. When they first built the park we, the local people, knew the park would turn into a muddy mess. The area always flooded - that's why Hau Bush (the recreation area) was built on little bit higher land.
on November 10,2011 | 06:52PM
quint34 wrote:
Let them build the marina. It all hinges on that but the "community" does want them to make an entrance. So no marina no other stuff.
on November 11,2011 | 06:11AM
JimSingletary wrote:
Happy to see people feel as misled and burned by this as I do.....
on December 27,2011 | 08:31AM
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