Tragic Pi’ilani Promenade Project (Mega Mall)
Pi’ilani Promenade Project(Mega Mall) So, a year ago, we fought this project from trying to develop the biggest mall in Hawai’i. The area is known as Kā’ono’ulu and we were successful as we focused on Community, Lineal, Environmental and Cultural concerns, which really showed the LUC (land use commission) that the EIS (environmental impact statement) that was completed by the developers, was in fact, INCOMPLETE. Fast forward to now and what you are seeing before you is their new plan to develop over 88 acres of land in the Kā’ono’ulu area, which sits, as you can see in the map, right above Pi’ilani Highway in Kula Makai (Kihei). With over 500 apartments, of which 50% is proposed to be affordable(when asked he said in the 200,000 dollar range, but wasn’t certain) and the rest luxury of course. 250 more apartments are to be used for Senior living, with a Super market to the bottom left of the map to be over 50,000 square feet and an extension street going thru the middle Mauka. The rest of the development was proposed to be retail stores (“for the community”), as he states (Harry Lake, Developer consultant and big time realtor, of hawaiian descent, but represents big business from the mainland) Many concerns of the community were addressed like....... 1. We already have 3 Super Markets within 2 min from eachother
2. There are already so many empty retail spaces all throughout Kula Kai(Kihei)
3. Traffic concerns/Emergency evacuations
4. Influx of more development proposals throughout Kula Kai(Kihei) with the same ideas
5. Visions of a more community based Kula Kai(Kihei) instead of a developed one like Honolulu Our concerns as linela heirs, cultural advocates and NHO(native hawaiian organization consultants/advisors) have to deal with more of the 1.Environmental Concerns: flooding, runoff affects to our marine life and reef. Habitation affects to our Pueo(owl), Ōpe’ape’a(bat), and our very detrimental and sacred Kūlanihāko’i gulch that runs alongside this entire project. 2. Sustainability Concerns: deforestation resulting in the inability of farming or gathering la’au lapa ‘au(native healing plants), affects to the ocean for fishing and gathering, Cultural Concerns: the inability to study and observe view-planes, weather patterns, and star maps while conducting religious practices thru certain sites and not feeling the bombardment of buildings and people. The possible uprooting of iwi kupuna (native burials) and the reality of no education for future generations. No opportunity to teach and show the layout of the land that we are still trying to learn everyday. Kūlanihāko’i gulch holds the kaula that binds this entire moku together. It is filled with rich Kaona, mo’olelo and secrets that we are just beginning to tap into. To sever that tie is to sever the vein of Kula Kai (Kihei) TCPM (traditional cultural properties model): This is a model that ties in the cultural significance for the entire layout of the area instead of trying to piece meal everything into increments. It warrants eligibility for inclusion in the (NRHP) National Register of Historic Places based on its associations with the cultural practices, traditions, beliefs, lifeways, arts, crafts, or social institutions of a living community. TCPs are rooted in a traditional community’s history and are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community. Lineal Concerns: The FACT that these lands were sold to the developers under a clouded deed, which means that they have no right to adverse possessions(land that is being occupied as ones own but has no clear title). They must first “PROVE” that they have a warranted deed to this land before the topic of development can even begin. Lineal heirs were present at this meeting and they are here to protect their undivided interests. Resource Concerns: where is the water coming from? More funneling from iao? How does that fare for such a development in the result of natural disasters? Parts of Lahaina had their water shut off for 6 hours due to the fires. Kula Kai(Kihei) went into panic when Hurricane Lane was supposed to hit. All the water, gas, and necessities suddenly became unavailable to mostly locals who couldn’t compete with the time schedule and money accountability as tourist and the many luxury home/business owners were sitting comfortably. If we are not at the table then we are on the menu. If we cannot make it to the table then it is my kuleana as a Aloha ‘Āina Kāko’o, to bring the table to our communities so that your voice can also be heard. I have made it a point to make it clear that with every decision that is mades to protect, and accommodate our community, one very important thing must and needs to always be present, and that is cultural and environmental concerns. I am tired of seeing these things on the back burner with no sense of importance. Tonight at the meeting was a perfect example. While most of the community members talked of community issues, i never once heard the topic brought up for the culture or environment until we, as cultural, lineal and advisors decided to chime in about it. It was met with distain by some and became a back n forth with others. What it showed me was that our community has not had active native voices to represent our issues in a long time, well at least not enough to address the seriousness of Title, cultural practice/rights, and generational knowledge. We all want to feel left in the circle and no one wants to be left out, but I felt a sense of entitlement fill the room for a while. Not all community members felt this way and some completely agreed on the issues of title and host culture rights. Mahalo Kelly King for being the first to address the host culture and allow them their position at the table. We all need to find our place in line. To remember that in that line there is already a host, they deserve to be addressed first before anyone els. Thru this can we begin to find acceptance. If these issues were not as important as some would think, then why are the developers so concerned with the cultural and lineal standpoint??? Lets not forget about what has already been here for hundreds and hundreds of years.