HONOLULU (KHON2) — A controversial military fencing project on a Windward hillside is being relocated after complaints from the community.
It’s been called an eyesore.
Kailua resident Jeremy Kalan has a clear view of it from his backyard.
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“It’s like a scar on the face of the land,” Kalan said.
The partially built 7-foot-tall fence on top the hill separating the Marine Corps training area Bellows property and Keolu hills has been a source of frustration for nearly a year.
According to the military, the fence is a federal requirement intended to keep trespassers off the base.
While residents understand the need for the barrier, they vocally opposed it being smack-dab on top of the ridge.
“This is our beautiful amazing nature that we get to look at,” Kalan said pointing at the ridge. “The worst thing is that [the fence] was gonna go up there and going all the way up that ridge and then all the way out to Lanikai, all the way along the ridge. And, that was just like a horrible, horrible eye-sore.”
Representative Lisa Marten has been in the thick of things, working with the military and residents for a resolution. She had some positive news to report.
“They are going to not build the fence where it was planned along the ridge line heading out towards the ocean and Lanikai,” Marten explained.
And, she added that they’re even going to move the portion of the fence that is most obtrusive and relocate it.
“They’ll leave some posts in place with signage, saying that it is private property, no trespassing, etc. to avoid liability and to keep their claim that it is their training area.”
The map outlines the new plan for the project. The yellow is where they originally intended to put the fence on top of the ridge. The dotted red section is the part of the fence already built that will be removed and the blue is where they now plan to erect the fence at the base of the Bellows side of the hill.
Marine Corps Base Hawaii 1st Lt. Mark McDonough said:
“After working with federal, state and local officials, we were able to reach a compromise that was better suited for the community’s desires and still allows the Marine Corps Base and its joint partners to fulfill their training and other duties.”
“It’s a huge win for the community,” Marten said. “I think it’s a huge win for the Marine Corps Base, because the community felt heard. And, we now see that they are, you know, they are friendly neighbors.”
“I was so excited to feel like we were actually heard and listened to and they made an adjustment,” Kalan said. “I’m just grateful to them and we got an outcome that we can all be proud of.”
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According to Marten, the military also plans to paint the fence so it blends in better and they no longer plan to add barbed wire to the top of the fence.