Some Kalama Valley residents express concern over proposed residential development

Arne Knudsen
Arne Knudsen
Xanya Sofra-Weiss
Xanya Sofra-Weiss

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KALAMA VALLEY (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some Kalama Valley residents are upset over a proposed residential development in their neighborhood. Developers are seeking approval to build 26 duplex units near the Hawaii Kai Golf Course.

People who live along the site say they're concerned about their property values dropping, traffic increasing, and the character of the community changing.

It's an undeveloped strip of land sandwiched between a drainage channel along the Hawaii Kai Golf Course and the back of several homes on Waikapu Loop. Developers are seeking a permit to construct two-story, fee-simple units featuring three- and four-bedroom floor plans, a recreational area, and private roads.

"There will be more people, more units, more cars, more traffic, more noise," Arne Knudsen, area resident, said. "Everybody's view will be obliterated."

Xanya Sofra-Weiss put in banana and papaya trees, and other plants to beautify a section of the vacant lot that is located behind her home. After years of enjoying open land, she plans to fight any development.

"I will sue their asses," she said. "It's not a good idea for them to go against somebody like me that is determined not to let them build."

If the plans are approved, the landscaping she did and her view of the golf course will go.

"It's a low-income project with houses that would worth about $300,000," Sofra-Weiss said. "My house is worth $1.4 million. The value is going to go down significantly."

"We'd really like to have time for the developer to come and speak to the community through the neighborhood board and address whatever concerns that the neighborhood has," Knudsen said.

We couldn't reach the developers Sunday night. But in their permit application, they said that because the lot is in an un-manicured state with overgrown dry brush, the project and its landscaping would provide a refreshing change, while fulfilling a need for this type of housing.

"People do need homes and, in this economy, they need affordable homes," this reporter said.

"Well, there is a lot of land that isn't used," Sofra-Weiss responded. "They don't have to come and compact the homes in a very small space."

Residents opposed to the 26-unit development say they'll submit letters to the city Department of Planning and Permitting on Monday.

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