Affordable homes proposed on golf course

Amy Osbourne
Amy Osbourne
James Brough
James Brough

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KANEOHE (KHNL) - Homes for low-income families, versus protecting preservation land - it's a dilemma brewing at a Windward Oahu golf course, the site of the proposed project.

It would be at the Bayview Golf Park in Kaneohe off Kaneohe Bay Drive. Project leaders unveiled the plan to residents for the first time on Thursday.

Some fear that constructing new affordable homes on the golf park will mean losing what they call priceless, protected land.

From 18 holes to nine, there's a proposal to scale back the front nine of the Bayview Golf Course to make way for more than 100 affordable homes, and or senior housing.

It's all very preliminary, but it's already raising a red flag in the community.

"There's only one land for us and we all need to be able to share it and we need to take into consideration what we do to the land because once it's gone, it's gone, and I just don't want to see another parking lot in paradise," said Kaneohe resident Amy Osborne.

The proposal started after the state asked the owner of the course and the developer to help out with Oahu's affordable housing crunch. Part of the concern is the area is currently zoned for preservation land.

"It involves our environment, it involves watershed, it involves historic preservation, this is right on the hawaiian fishpond area. It's going to impact traffic, our sewer," said Osborne.

"My suspicion is it might as well be a series of homes, and more congestion and more difficulty so I would not like to see that happen," said Kaneohe resident James Brough.

Another concern is communication. Residents say they received a flyer only a day before the public hearing Thursday night. Critics say they're not no-growth, they're for smart growth, and question if transforming the course is the green thing and the right thing to do.

Project leaders say the plan is in extremely early stages and could change depending on community input. They met with residents at Thursday night's Kaneohe Neighborhood Board meeting, at Windward Community College.