City cites seawall repair
By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Writer
By Suzanne Roig
City officials have issued a notice of violation against the owners of a cluster of Diamond Head homes who repaired a seawall without obtaining the proper permits.
The seawall, which is on private property owned by seven people along Kaimanawai Place, was repaired after wave action undermined and damaged a section of the wall.
"The owners were concerned about public safety," said Tom Maloney, a contractor hired by the property owners. "That is how we approached the repairs. Now we're going for a variance. No one wants to gain more beach frontage."
The city is requiring the owners to obtain an after-the-fact shoreline variance for the seawall repairs, said Maloney, who met with city officials yesterday to obtain the necessary paperwork.
Residents in the area are vigilant when it comes to seawalls. At the kokohead end of Kahala beach, a property owner was ordered to remove rocks and 43 cubic yards of sand he had placed on the beach because he was concerned about beach erosion. The owner intends to apply for a minor shoreline structure permit to erect a tension wire fence, planning consultant Don Clegg said.
Area resident Mike Nauyokas said he raised a warning flag about the Kaimanawai Place work with state and city officials because he was concerned about how the beach would be affected.
"This is a popular beach where people walk," he said. "Ten years ago, you could walk along the entire stretch of beach. Now half the time you're in the water because the beach has been wiped out."
The notice of violation gives the property owners time to correct the situation, said Henry Eng, director of the city Department of Planning and Permitting. If deadlines are not met, city officials could start levying fines, Eng said.
After receiving complaints from residents about the seawall, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources issued a stop-work order on March 21. The department rescinded that order eight days later when it determined the wall is on private property. The owners, however, were urged to contact the city Department of Planning and Permitting to obtain a permit and to determine if there were any land-use violations.
Beach structures must be at least 40 feet from the high wash of the waves. Those that are not must go through a review process that includes a city permit, environment assessment and other studies.
"It all started out as the owners wanting to prevent something bad from happening because of the gaping hole in the wall," Maloney said. "We have started the process. Hopefully it will be resolved. The owners are not trying to extend out their beachfront. They're just wanting to make sure it's safe."
Reach Suzanne Roig at email@example.com.