Haleiwa hotel plan worries fishpond owner

Kalani Fronda
Kalani Fronda

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HALEIWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - In ancient days, Loko Ea fishpond nourished alii and commoners.

"It fed them. It was kind of the refrigerator of their time," said Kalani Fronda, senior land asset manager for Kamehameha Schools.

Now, the past and future are colliding.

Andy Anderson's 80-room boutique Haleiwa Beach Hotel would sit on a city owned parcel he wants to buy and build on.

But Kamehameha Schools worries seepage from development could ruin Loko Ea that sits nearby and harm a restoration project that's been at work since 2007.

"We're concerned about what enters into the water area, especially when we have kids coming in and people coming in for the purpose of restoration - but also for the livelihood of the fish," Fronda said.

Anderson said the hotel's treatment plant would emit water suitable for irrigation

"The green design is so that it won't pollute the surrounding ground and the ocean," he said.

But Kamehameha Schools also worries the hotel would impede access to the pond.

Anderson said he'll grant an easement, promising the hotel group would do nothing to impair the pond and its user.

Kamehameha Schools proposes he build his hotel elsewhere, away from the fish pond and a nearby marsh.

"We know that there may be a need for some type of concept he is proposing," Fronda said.

He said Kamehameha Schools is also open to acquiring the parcel to build a park, storage space for canoe clubs and parking.

It's willing to explore alternative sites for Anderson's concept with him and the North Shore community.

"We are looking at some way to be able to protect and preserve our fish pond as well as the marsh," Fronda said.

Anderson describes his offer to buy the land outright and give a community organization two acres for a park "simple and clean."

Still, Kamehameha Schools worries what development might do to the fish pond if a hotel becomes its next door neighbor.

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