Tempers flare at council over Ewa Beach resort proposal

Tempers flare at council over Ewa Beach resort proposal
Published: Sep. 6, 2016 at 9:58 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 7, 2016 at 8:36 AM HST
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City Councilman Trevor Ozawa (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
City Councilman Trevor Ozawa (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A controversial resort development in Ewa Beach prompted tempers to flare at the Honolulu City Council on Tuesday.

Councilwoman Kymberly Pine, who represents the area, accused Council Zoning Chairman Trevor Ozawa of rushing through Haseko's Ewa Beach resort and lagoon development plan.

Pine said Ozawa is ignoring widespread opposition in her community and taking the side of developers.

"The only thing (Haseko) wants today and why you're siding with them is they want to build more million dollar homes to increase their profit," Pine said.

Ozawa shot back: "You'r statement about me creating an advantageous rushed meeting here, it's just not true," he said.

He added the public has had nearly a year to comment on the plan and that most of the people who submitted testimony favor the project.

Developer Haseko wants to move an 11-acre resort from the ocean side to an area next to its planned lagoon. The developer and their unions said the plan will bring jobs and businesses to the area, and not getting approval will mean layoffs.

"This project brings a lot to the Ewa region and the state alone. It will be more than $2 billion economic output and provide more than 14,000 jobs," said Richard Balicoco, of the Hawaii Carpenters Union.

But homeowners said the resort will never be built because the hotel is being planned in area that restricted by the military.

"They don't want to develop the resort. That's my hunch. They want to pocket the money for selling all of these homes and and get out," said state Rep. Matt Lopresti.

In the end, Ozawa backed off, delaying the vote on the zoning change until later this month.

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