The small meeting room at the John Kalili Surf Center at Alii Beach Park in Haleiwa quickly filled up as an anxious overflow crowd came to hear businessman D.G. "Andy" Anderson talk about his proposed 80 room Haleiwa Hotel.
"We'll employ about 110 people. That fallow land will become real property tax productive. There will be a place for people to come and stay on the North Shore instead of the 455 illegal bed and breakfasts that we have out here," Anderson told Hawaii News Now before the meeting began.
Anderson hopes to build on land across the street from Haleiwa Beach Park next to Jameson's by the Sea Restaurant. The property is owned by the city and zoned for park use although the city has never developed the land as a park.
"There is very limited park land up here and there is growth happening up here and if we do not maintain our parks we will lose them. And once they are gone they are gone," said Waialua resident Ann Gomers who came to express opposition to Anderson's plan.
Not long into the presentation by Anderson's team, Peter Cole, who is organizing opposition to the hotel, took the microphone.
"A lot of people in this community are against selling public park lands," Cole said.
Cole kept speaking while neighborhood board chair Mike Lyons tried to restore order. Some in the crowd cheered Cole. Others were upset.
"That's not how decisions are made Mr. Cole," one man in the crowd said.
As emotions, and the temperature in the small room, rose, Lyons called off the meeting.
"This meeting has been adjourned," Lyons announced.
Some criticized Lyons for ending the meeting early. "We need a process here to discuss this," one man protested, but Lyons stood by his decision.
"I told him (Cole) he was out of order. He needed to sit down. He refused. We called for the policeman on the telephone. No one responded so rather than cause all this turmoil, the meeting was over," Lyons told Hawaii News Now.