Local Connection: Development issues in Kakaako - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Development issues in Kakaako

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It's alarming to see that the agency in charge of overseeing Hawaii's biggest urban development program is basically inept and toothless.

I'm talking about Kakaako of course, and the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which was recently forced to make another deal with a developer rather than fight for the good of the community.

The issue was the brightly-reflective windows on the 45-story Symphony Honolulu condo tower.

It looks like the developer installed the mirror windows, knowing that they were against the rules, because they would make the building more energy efficient.

Just last week the H-C-D-A conceded its rules on glass reflectivity were defective, and surrendered, letting the developer pay a 2-thousand dollar fine and add a million dollars to its community impact fee.

That punishment amounts to less than what a single two bedroom condo will cost in the 388-unit building. It's basically a painless penalty.  

And the result will be a permanent blinding blight on the Kakaako city scape. The only people who view won't be harmed by those windows are the people behind inside them.

No wonder this agency has been bamboozled by developers over and over again.  We can only imagine what one of them will try next.

With more condos going up, it's not too late to rehab of the governance of Kakaako and put it under the control of someone - like the governor or mayor, who must eventually answer to the people.

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