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Tensions continue in Kailua as new fast food eatery opens next to subdivision

Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 5:27 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The opening of a fast food location in Windward Oahu Saturday brought blessings, hungry patrons and protestors.

Community members flanked the sidewalks leading up to Wendy’s on Kailua Drive — calling for the franchise owner, Cotti Foods, to follow through with their promise to build a wall separating the property from neighboring homes.

Cotti Foods said several weeks ago that they hoped to construct a wall in time for opening, but neighbors said permits still have not been submitted to do that.

Furthermore, they have other concerns over what that wall will look like.

“We have been asking for Wendy’s to put a wall to separate the commercial and residential communities, and they have made ploys to pretend to make a wall, but the reality is they intend to leave the back open,” said Ben Rowe, a Kailua resident.

“What concerns me is that they have invested in a concrete walkway and striping for a crosswalk, so they clearly intend to leave a gap in that wall,” Rep. Lisa Marten said.

“The gap means that they are using this formerly quiet residential neighborhood as part of their commercial parking lot.”

A Cotti Foods representative said they remain committed to building a wall — but said current zoning would reduce parking spots in their lot if one is constructed and that patrons would be forced to park on the street.

The company said they are in discussion with the city for a re-zone approval and will file for a building permit to get started when that is resolved.

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