Community concerned about Paradise Park plans

Community concerned about Paradise Park plans

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Members of the Manoa community will have an opportunity to express their concerns over plans to re-open Paradise Park in a neighborhood board meeting Wednesday night.

"The traffic, the environmental impact, not just waste water but also noise and traffic...yeah, there are a lot of concerns" said Neighborhood Board Chair Eric Eads.

Eads says many people feel misled by owner James Wong.

"If we had seen detailed plans of some vast Hawaiian wonderland they want to put up there, I think very few of us would be supportive of that".

Wong showed his plans to Hawaii News Now in November of 2014. The project is set to be completed in three phases. Phase One, set for completion later this year will focus on renovating the main building, with a museum and hula halau practice space to be built inside.

Phase Two will focus on installing gardens on the grounds surrounding the building. It is set for completion in 2016.

Both phases were approved by the Department of Land and Natural Resources in October of 2014.

Phase Three calls for the construction of a luau house. "You're just generating a lot of traffic through a few narrow choke points" said Eads.

The Neighborhood board is asking the DLNR to reconsider the approval, claiming the Park's environmental impact statement is obsolete.

"The one that they have right now is almost 50 years old. The DLNR gave approval with an EIS that was done literally 5 decades ago" said Eads.

Darryl Wong, the owner's son who is leading the project, was flying back to Hawaii from Alaska Tuesday. Hawaii News Now contacted him by phone before he boarded his flight.

He stressed that the plans have always been transparent. Additionally, he said the renovation is in full compliance with all requirements.

The neighborhood board meeting will take place at 7pm inside the Noelani Elementary School cafeteria.

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