Sunday, July 27, 2014         


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Construction sign facing H-1 deemed an illegal billboard

By June Watanabe


Question: There is a sign from a construction company, displayed at a construction site, along the H-1 Freeway, Ewa-bound, just past the University and Wilder offramps. Is this legal?

Answer: The sign is legal, but where it was posted is not.

If you have any questions or concerns about signs, a good resource is The Outdoor Circle, a watchdog for billboards and other illegal signs. (Call 593-0300 or go to www.outdoorcircle.org.)

Based on your query, Bob Loy, director of environmental programs, tracked the Amano Construction sign to a backyard of a home under construction on Dole Street.

“As with all potentially illegal signs, we reported our findings to the (city) Department of Planning and Permitting,” he said.

“We allow construction ‘announcing signs’ as a temporary type of sign,” said Jamie Peirson, chief of the department’s Land Use Approval Branch.

These signs are restricted in size, can be posted only while work is going on and has to “front a street,” he explained. The sign in question was facing the freeway, which is not considered a street because people don’t have ready access to get off.

“In that sense, it was being used as a billboard,” Peirson said.

An inspector was to “advise” the company that the sign had to be moved to the front of the property to comply with the law.

“Hawaii is one of only four states that prohibit billboards and fortunately the 1927 anti-billboard law still stands today,” Loy said. The Outdoor Circle is credited with persuading the Territorial Legislature to pass the law 84 years ago.

Question: I have not seen anything reported about what is happening to our trees along the townside entrance to the H-3 Freeway. Similarly, the same type of trees outside the townside entrance to the Likelike Tunnel. These beautiful trees appear to be losing all their foliage and dying.

Answer: We checked with The Outdoor Circle, as well, on this matter, since the organization has worked with the state Department of Transportation to preserve trees along its highways.

Environmental Programs Director Bob Loy made two trips each to both the H-3 and Likelike sites and could not find the trees you described.

He says he doesn’t know if he’s not looking in the right places or perhaps just doesn’t see any serious problems.

You can call him at 593-0300 to follow up.


To the Ponds at Punaluu, especially Warren DeBary, director of marketing, and the rest of the staff. I have a condo at Pat’s at Punaluu, where we spend most of the winter. During the tsunami warning on March 11, the Ponds not only let people park, but took everyone in and gave them access to TVs, radios and bathrooms, AND served coffee, tea, freshly made muffins, apples, oranges and soft drinks. We were so thankful to have such a nice place to wait for the “all clear.” — Joan Clawson, Gig Harbor, Wash.


Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd.,Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

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