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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 27, 2001

Island Voices
Here are North Shore facts

By D.G. "Andy" Anderson
Developer of the recently approved Kaunala Beach Estate near the Velzeyland surfing spot

The Advertiser's Sept. 17 editorial on the Velzeyland development on the North Shore contained a number of inaccuracies concerning beach access, a proposed parking lot and the shoreline setback.

• Beach access. The reality until now has been that Velzeyland has never been legally open to the public. However, as a result of measures we took, which form an integral part of our development, Velzeyland, for the first time, will be legally open to all the public and not merely to trespassers.

We are giving a total of 78,872 square feet of our land to the city, free of charge, for the purposes of constructing a paved roadway to provide legal and safe vehicle and pedestrian access from Kamehameha Highway to the beach and shoreline and to provide a bike path. This gift exceeds by fivefold the existing park dedication formula.

At the city's request and at an estimated cost to us of $100,000, we are designing, constructing and paying for that roadway to the shoreline, which will have the added advantage of providing public access — for the first time — to the more than 30 acres of the adjacent Waiale'e Beach Park land to which the public and surfers have not had access because the city did not have the funds to open it up.

• Parking lot. The statement in your editorial concerning the parking lot is the most egregious. Your City Hall reporter will confirm to you that, at the conclusion of a City Council hearing — and after the council had already voted eight to one in favor of our development — I interrupted the council chairman and offered to make the additional contribution to the city's plans by paying for the construction of the parking lot. The city had previously agreed to pay for the parking lot from public funds. Our offer now relieves it of that monetary burden.

• Shoreline setback. The operative point on this matter is that, in designing our development, we followed existing laws. The state law calls for a 40-foot setback, which the city amended, by ordinance, to 60 feet for properties such as ours.

In a society based on laws, new law should not and cannot be rewritten at the point of deciding a specific case.

Councilman Romy Cachola said it best at the hearing when he suggested to the individual offering testimony that, if he felt strongly on this matter, he should introduce legislation to fund a shoreline study upon which new legislation might be based so that the new legislation would "apply equally to all."

It may be constructive for you to reflect on Councilman Cachola's words, with particular focus on how inconsistent interpretation and application of existing law regarding business in Hawai'i have resulted in our state gaining the reputation as being hostile to business. This reputation has slowed the flow of investment funds into our community, which would create jobs and growth opportunities for our young people.

Perhaps a more illuminating exercise for you might be to further reflect conceptually on how the inconsistent application and interpretation of existing law, which your editorial readily accepts in the case of our development, might affect your business.

If, for example, your parent company, Gannett, were confronted with a situation wherein it could not count on the existing local laws and ordinances concerning any number of local issues relevant to your business — be they labor, hours of operation, distribution, noise levels, toxic materials — do you think that the exemplary and requisite Gannett investments, which have resulted in your jobs and the welcome prominence of your fine publication, would have proceeded with the confidence and extent to which they have?