Complaints About Oneula Beach Park Upset Ewa Neighborhood Meeting
At the August 2014 meeting of the Ewa Neighborhood Board the controversial topic of the evening was the Oneula Beach Park. Community members appeared before the board to complain about the upkeep and use of the park. One resident inquired about the legality of fishing there and about HPD’s right to restrict fishing and shoreline access at night. It was noted that the police are chasing out fishermen but failing to pick on the homeless there. There are persistent questions about what constitutes overnight camping that includes fishing activities and what makes it different from overnight fishing without camping accommodations. Another person suggested that the Haseko development plans are affecting fishing rights and encouraging the police to clamp down on camping in the area since its Ernie Els golf course is adjacent to the park. When HPD was informed that the Ewa Community Master Plan allows camping in the park, Officer Micah Nakagawa replied that HPD does not have a stance on whether or not camping is allowed at the park and noted that HPD is there only to enforce laws that have been put in place. A cry went up that HPD no longer works with the community. Tom Berg informed the board that the City Department of Parks and Recreation director promised twelve camp sites in Oneula Beach Park in 2012.
The other concern about Oneula Beach Park revolved around the closure of the bathrooms and the collection of water near the entrance of the park. Kanani Langley conveyed the rumor that Oneula Beach Park will be shut down and privatized for Ocean Pointe. She raised a concern that the community is still waiting for Haseko to repair the bathrooms. Vice Chairperson Mitch Tynanes reported that the bathrooms were closed because the cesspool was leaking into the ocean and needed to be replaced. Haseko planned to tie in a sewer line to the bathrooms since it has constructed a sewer line as far as the bridge and was willing to connect it. However, the city decided to complete the job.
Pamela Witty-Oakland, representing Mayor Kirk Caldwell, reported that the work to remove the Oneula Beach Park cesspool is being put out to bid on Wednesday, October 1, 2014. She also will follow up on the status and outcomes of the Ewa Beach Master Plan and the Oneula Master Plan. She will reaffirm the community’s stand of not privatizing the park and not agreeing to any public-private partnerships. Witty-Oakland also noted the community’s request for permitted camping. Board member Ariel De Jesus requested weekend permits for fishermen to camp and fish. Stacy Diaz observed that Haseko is wasting water and helping mosquito breed by creating stagnant water at the beginning of Oneula Beach Park. She asked if anyone is monitoring Haseko’s activities. Noelani Favella noted that the grass at Ewa Mahiko and Oneula Beach Park is dying because there is no water, and it was reported that no custodian could be found in the area.
Haseko, in its annual progress report to the State Land Use Commission for year 2013, stated it is working with City and County of Honolulu in conveying approximately 18.75 acres for a district park and approximately 9 acres for the expansion of Oneula Beach Park. A new access road to the park must be completed before the conveyance of the beachfront land can be made to the city as part of the Oneula Beach Park Master Plan. Presently the plan to direct all treatment plant outfall from the Honouliuli Treatment Plant through Oneula Beach Park and out to sea is on hold. The city’s drainage plan for the Kalo`i Gulch Watershed banks on these factors: Haseko’s decision to construct a lagoon instead of a marina as part of its Hoakalei Resort plans, problems with drainage outfall, additional construction plans, new environmental concerns, additional operations and maintenance, and multiple user compliance for the regional storm water drainage.
Ewa Neighborhood Board will hold its next regular meeting on Thursday, September 11, 2014, at the Ewa Beach Public and School Library, 91-950 North Road, Ewa Beach, at 7:00 P.M. New business on its agenda are:
- Election of the Chairperson.
- Fill one (1) at-large board vacancy.
- Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) East Kapolei proposed affordable housing project briefing by Monika Mordisini, (808 691-9446).
- Family Values briefing by Brian Jeremiah.
The general public is invited to attend and participate in discussion.