Welcoming dogs among ideas for Ala Moana Park, which concerns some

Published: Dec. 18, 2019 at 7:57 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 18, 2019 at 7:59 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over the weekend, Mayor Caldwell, supporters and and opponents of a controversial all-accessible playground announced plans to move it from Ala Moana Park to Kakaako Waterfront Park.

But some are worried there are still problems with the project, and the future of Ala Moana Park.

On Wednesday, the city gathered input on future planning for Ala Moana Park and a special management area permit application that still includes a playground at Ala Moana.

Shar Chun-Lum of Save Ala Mona Beach Park Hui says the fight isn't over.

“We are glad, but it’s still in the SMA permit going forward and very scary to hear the consultant. We want it to stay there and that makes you wonder, does that mean it would revive itself,” she said.

The proposal also includes a dog park near the Kewalo entrance. Currently dogs are not allowed at Ala Moana Park and critics say it should stay that way because of what dogs leave behind.

“The concern would be, number one, dogs shouldn’t be at the beach because they get in the water, the sand, they are exposing their feces and whatever to the people so they could get sick,”

Sam King organized a petition for the playground at Ala Moana. He says a dog park and other amenities don't bother him. He likes that a playground is still in the city's permit application.

"It's sad because I think it's a great project and I think it got caught up in a strange anti-elitism anger at Park Lane people," he said.

The city says Wednesday's hearing was held to gather public comment on the original application and a recommendation will be sent to the City Council.

“The Special Management Area Use Permit is to approve the master plan for the park using SMA guidelines. A future playground is one of the many proposed park improvements included in the master plan,” said Deputy Director of Planning and Permitting Eugene Takahashi.

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