The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Boating and Ocean Resources (DOBOR) held a public meeting on July 10, 2017 at McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Beach Park. DOBOR has hired DTL Hawaii, a Hawaiian strategies studio, to help determine the future of the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor.
For years there’s been talk of re-developing the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor at the entrance to Waikiki.
Now the state is asking for community input.
Several years ago, state legislators found that certain areas of the harbor are underused and if developed properly could generate additional revenue.
A couple of lawmakers said changes made at the harbor could have a ripple effect on other harbors and communities across the island.
Located at the mouth of the canal, the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor is the largest of its kind in the state.
Representative Tom Brower said improvements are definitely needed.
“We know that more can be done with the harbor to promote to residents as well as visitors, but I think working out these details it’s very concerning for people especially those the harbor is very personal to them,” Brower said.
What are some of those concerns?
“One is the residents, over a hundred or so, living at the harbor. What will their future be? What type of rent structure will there be? Will they be grandfathered in any plans for future construction at the harbor?” Brower asks.
The state wants to know from community members what they think it should do with four sites at the harbor.
These sites are:
- The harbormaster’s office and parking lot
- The old fuel dock
- The triangle parking lot used by surfers and beach goers
- The former haul-out area
“I know in the past there has been proposed wedding chapels and just ideas the community didn’t really buy into, and ultimately those plans failed. So I believe the state is starting from scratch, from square one,” said Representative Kaniela Ing, the Chair of the Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs Committee.
The state plans on entering into a public-private partnership for development of these sites. It hopes to issue a request for proposals by the end of this year.
“I think when you enter a public-private partnership you have to be very careful that you are not just giving away taxpayers money to corporations,” Ing said.
Brower said any major change will have a big impact.
“It’s not just going to be the residents who live here and live nearby, it will be harbor users from all over the state and what happens here may affect the other small boat harbors,” Brower said.
That effect could be anything from financial to regulations for all harbors.
The meeting for community input is held Monday, July 10, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. At McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Beach Park.
Anyone planning to attend the meeting is asked to RSVP by email email@example.com.