Thursday, January 25, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 25, 2001

Hawai'i Kai cemetery boundaries approved

By Suzanne Roig
East Honolulu Bureau

The Honolulu City Council approved boundaries for a proposed cemetery in Kamilonui Valley in Hawaii Kai yesterday, clearing the way for developers to plan the location of a mortuary, a crematorium and burial sites.

The developers, Kamval LLC, must design a retention basin to curb rain run-off and submit a soil study to city officials before construction can begin.

The developer also must conduct a traffic study and develop solutions should concerns arise from the two studies.

The council imposed those conditions in unanimously approving the boundaries yesterday.

"I have a record of voting against inappropriate projects," said Councilman Steve Holmes. "It would be nice to buy all the undeveloped open space, but that’s not feasible."

Holmes said there are seven cemeteries in his Windward district and they play an important role in preserving open space and scenic views.

Kamval proposes to build a 44,000-plot cemetery on 69 acres of undeveloped land in the back of Hawaii Kai near farms and homes. The cemetery will be built in three phases, with each lasting about 15 years, depending on business conditions, said Keith Kurahashi, a planning and zoning consultant hired by the developer.

Councilman Romy Cachola said a group of investors has approached him about the cemetery. Cachola said he advised the group to indemnify the city in case of any damage from flooding.

The Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board voted 9-2 in favor of the cemetery proposal, said board Chairman Charlie Rodgers. He said the developer has addressed the concerns of the board and the community.

But Lily Wong, a Kamilonui Valley farmer, said she was still concerned about the location of the retention basin the developer has been asked to build to keep runoff from flooding homes and farms below the cemetery.

"I’m afraid for the farmers who will be living under the daily threat of flooding," she said.

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