Residents balk at Paiko Ridge development plans

Proposed Paiko Ridge Development

KULIOUOU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - East Honolulu residents are raising concerns about renewed plans to develop a portion of Paiko Ridge in Kuliouou.

The proposed development would consist of 11 single-family homes and four duplexes, built behind a row of homes on Kaeleloi Place.

"They're going to have to cut into the mountain about 12 feet to build these 19 homes," said resident Angela Correa-Pei, who's family goes back five generations in the valley.

She's not the only one balking at the plan.

"Looking at the past in Kuliouou after heavy rain, there have been landslide events that have led to condemnation of parcels," said resident Jen Lucien.

Renderings show how steep the hillside is and the grading that would need to be done to build the homes. "You're talking about major earth moving machinery up on an area that's prone to landslides," Lucien said.

Mitigation plans have been made by the engineering firm Belt Collins, and were presented to the Kuliouou Neighborhood Board.

In addition to environmental concerns, residents are worried that the development, currently on a four-acre, residentially-zoned parcel, could be a wedge for future re-zoning.

"We certainly hope that's not the case; that they're going to start with this small development and continue on to more development on top of the ridge," Correa-Pei said.

Project manager Paul Shingawa said that's not the owner's intent -- as hundreds of acres atop the ridge are conservation land. The owner is a Chicago resident who's doing business under a locally-registered limited liability company -- "Levred Investors."

The city's Department of Planning and Permitting, says no permit applications have been filed for the proposed project. Developers have asked to make a follow-up presentation to the neighborhood board on April 7.

Back in 2006, a plan to build some 200 luxury homes on Paiko Ridge was met with a community outcry, and eventually dropped. Residents have long said the ridge should be preserved as undeveloped land for future generations.

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