HCDA Presentation = Checked Off, What is next?
Written by Administrator Wednesday, 03 September 2008 18:27
We're proud to announce that step one in our journey to getting racing back on track is completed! We made our presentation before the Hawaii Community Development Authority today, and feel that it was an overall success and was fairly well received by the board. We had tremendous support from the Department of Hawaiian Homelands and cannot thank them enough for the generous help and assistance they have given for this project. We would also like to thank every racer that showed up to support the presentation...your prescence was sorely appreciated! We know that it is really difficult to attend these meetings, and that you have jobs, so your sacrifice does not go unnoticed.
Chris Messer and Michael Kitchens of the Oahu Motorsports Advisory Council made the case for the construction of the new raceway with support from the developers and founders of Save Oahu's Race Tracks, LLC, George & Jeanette Grace Jr. A 40+ page packet was given to all HCDA board members accompanied by a 15 minute "abbreviated" slide show presentation that covered the specifics of the racing facility. In addition, over 300+ letters of support, written by readers like you, along with a petition consisting of over 1500+ signatures were handed to Chairperson Jonathan Lai.
Also in attendance were Russ Saito - State Comptroller, Micah Kane - DHHL Chairman, and Linda Chinn - DHHL Administrator. We would like to thank all three for their continued support of their project. It is through their efforts that we have made the progress that we have, and we graciously thank them for their support. In addition, the Kapolei Hawaiian Civic Club was on hand, and although they had to leave early, we thank them for the walkthrough conducted on this past Sunday, and we hope that we have alleviated their concerns regarding the sensitive archaeological and cultural sites surrounding the area. We appreciate their support as well.
We will present the Meeting Minutes once the HCDA has posted them to their official website but for now, here is a brief description of the proceedings:
The meeting was tense due to the arrangement of the items on the agenda and their relative importance to the citizens of the Kalaeloa/Kapolei area. Discussion continued for most of the morning on the topics before HCDA before a motion to move the proceedings along to the KRP Presentation was made by Maeda Timson and seconded by Evelyn Souza. After a brief report from Tesha Malama - Kalaeloa Director, Chris & I were introduced and the presentation began. The presentation covered the Objective of the Project, Location & Property Data, A Description of the Existing Property, Basic Construction Requirements, Public Access & Parking, Archaeological & Historical Concerns, The Schedule for Construction, Response to Agency Concerns, and a brief Summary. Accompanying the presentation were some very informative maps, traffic control plans, and designs in full color format.
After the presentation concluded, the floor was opened up to questions by the board members. Although a brutal round of questioning followed, most specifically by one board member, the overall response to the presentation seemed favorable. Testimony was then allowed, and a various mix of responses were given, some for, some against. There was a valid concern for the traffic increase and the affect on the surrounding communities including joggers and cyclists, and we pledge that we will tweak our presentation and delve into the situation even more thoroughly to better address these concerns. There were some questions as to whether an Environmental Assessment was needed for the project, but DHHL quickly responded with insistence that due to the reduced scale of the development the project was exempt, and therefore not needed. They again reconfirmed that they are supportive of the project and accept it as a valid business transaction.
Some testimony stated that the project is misleading the public, and that our final phase design is not representative of our intent. This is truly not the case. Our current "Final Phase" is representative of our dream, and our primary goal...which is to provide a home for 100% of the displaced racers of Oahu. Our designs are apt to change, and the way we achieve this goal is apt to change as well, but this is our primary mission, and one that we will support until it has been accomplished. In conjunction with this, a positive note was added by George Grace, Jr., that he is working to provide lower cost transportation to the outer islands for our displaced drag racers, until we can fully support their passions here on Oahu. Jeanette and George also expanded on the fact that our current stockpiling permit is awaiting approval from DPP and is expected within this week. From there, the grading permit will be created and applied for.
From our stance, most of the testimony was valid, but some was a bit off track and seemed oblivious of the facts presented within the presentation. Nevertheless, we were able to walk away from the discussion with a new view on our situation, and renewed hope that we can improve upon our presentation and process. The meeting was then adjourned and we all breathed a sigh of relief! All the hard work for the past few months is finally paying off!
We are very excited by making it past this first step, and we are well on our way to the next one. We will attend the Kapolei/Makakilo Neighborhood Board in the near future, as well as continuing to meet and address concerns from the local community as needed. From there, it's groundbreaking...so please, keep watching this space! For all of you who have supported us thus far, we appreciate your enthusiasm, and hope that you will continue to support this effort. Thanks also go out to the KRP Project Team, and especially George & Jeanette for continuing to push forward in spite of the opposition.