Community Fights for More Parking in Kapahulu

Kenneth Chang
Kenneth Chang
Lori Villalpando
Lori Villalpando

KAPAHULU (KHNL) -- A fight for more parking on Oahu shifts into high gear, as one community faces a deadline that could lead to a sell off much needed free space.

Kapahulu is a great place to stop for small shops and unique restaurants.

But what this part of Oahu doesn't have is a lot of parking.

"It's a unique strip of business residential and the amount of parking is extremely limited," said Kenneth Chang with the Kapahulu Business Association.

That's why some businesses and employees here prepare to fight to keep parking on this state owned land. It's been re-zoned for commerical development.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources wants to lease it out, for additional revenue. But some fear another business going up would cut down on already limited parking spaces claiming there aren't any alternatives.

What would happen without this 60-space lot? Existing businesses could see a reduction in sales or parking could become more challenging for residents.

Once this parking is full, I've tried to find other parking it's usually very far up to the residential area," said realtor Lori Villalpando.

While the main issue over this property is parking, there are also concerns a new big building would tower over this pedestrian friendly area, and there is also concern about keeping these Monkeypod trees that add to Kapahulu's unique historical character.

Concerned residents want an additional two weeks to convince the state to make this half acre site a commerical parking lot.

But the DLNR says this zoning change and revenue effort has been in the works for years.

There will be a hearing on the plan to auction the state lands this Friday at 9:00 in the morning. Then the Board of Land and Natural Resources will vote on it.