Manoa neighborhood board to hear testimony about renovating Paradise Park

Local News

The constant buzz from tourist buses is one concern from a quiet community over proposed plans to redevelop a park in Manoa.

Right now, the plan is to turn Paradise Park into a Hawaiian Cultural Center, which would be open late into the night and bring in thousands of visitors a year.

It was once a popular destination to see exotic birds and plants native to Hawaii. Now you’ll find a restaurant and some parking, but that could soon change and many residents don’t seemed too thrilled.

“I have been to a couple of other meetings already and the neighborhood is very against it,” said Manoa resident Yvonne Wong.

The plans call for redeveloping the area into a Hawaiian Cultural Center. Some of the renovations would include a hula garden, fixing up older buildings and landscaping. It would eventually become a place many could go to learn about Hawaiian culture.

“From what I understand, they are looking to run up until 10 in the evening and I think it’s a little bit too noisy,” said Manoa resident Pat Ching.

“I don’t believe this neighborhood and this area is able to handle the amount of traffic and population that this park is working to bring in,” said Wong.

As for hours of operation, the developed Hawaiian Cultural Center would be open from 8 a.m. to 10 pm. and is expected to bring in up to 430,000 visitors a year.

KHON2 wanted to know what kind of impact it could have to the area.

“First of all, it is preservation land and the people of Manoa have always protected our preservation areas,” said Honolulu City Council member Ann Kobayashi. “But I think the long lasting effect on Manoa Valley would be negative.”

Kobayashi says she has even made some suggestions to the owners. “Maybe there wouldn’t be as much opposition if it would close maybe at six o’clock,” she said.

Another concern for Kobayashi is the permit that’s being issued.

“The DLNR said they’re basing their new permit on the past permit that was issued, but that was so long ago and times have changed,” said Kobayashi.

The original permit was issued in 1966, which is why residents are hoping a meeting Wednesday will give them a chance to voice their opinion.

Wednesday’s Manoa neighborhood board meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Noelani Elementary School cafeteria.

For details on the plan, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.