Controversial antenna, housing, and complaints discussed at Mililani Mauka board meeting

Jade Eckardt

The Mililani Mauka/Launani Valley Neighborhood Board held their regular meeting on Tuesday, February 15. The meeting was jam-packed discussion, covering a variety of issues.

The controversial cellular antenna was discussed, and the 56 foot antenna has been approved. An appeal is pending with a Council hearing scheduled for Thursday, March 24, 2011 at Council Meeting Room, 2nd floor at 12:30 p.m.

A disturbing email was discussed when board member Yoshimura said that he received an email criticizing several board members’ character. His young daughter brought home a copy of the email to him. Yoshimura and other board members were mentioned negatively in the email.

Discussion of proposed Meheula Vista Senior Affordable Rental Project took place at the meeting. The project has been a subject of controversy with many Mililani residents opposed to it. Last month 800 residents signed a petition in opposition to this project and at the meeting it was stated that the next step would be legal action against Castle and Cooke.

Complete meeting minutes are below.


CALL TO ORDER: Chair Dean Hazama called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m., with a quorum of nine (9) members present. The Scouts from Troop 664 were asked to present the United States and State of Hawaii colors; Troop 664 led the pledge of allegiance, posted the colors, and retired from the meeting.  Note: This nine (9) member Board requires five (5) votes to have a quorum and take official Board action.  Chair Hazama read the rules of speaking listed at the top of tonight’s agenda.

Members Present: Dana Agader, Luella Costales, Dave Ellis, Dean Hazama, Shelly Nakasone, Stanton Oishi, Alan Suwa, Keith Tamashiro and Lance Yoshimura.

Members Absent: None.

Vacancies – None at this time.

Guests: Mary Liles, Erwin Kawata (Board of Water Supply), Nick Tatistchcff, Kera Kobayashi, S. Kobayashi, Kim Ribellia and Heidi Tsuneyoshi (Councilmember Martin’s Office staff), Randy and Doreen Johnson, Peter Emerson, Michael Lyons (North Shore No. 27 Neighborhood Board Chair), Alex Pura, Maria Barrows, Philip Barrows, Edward N., Terry D. Brewer, Michael Magaoay, Eddie Ontai (Catholic Charities), Ann Swider, Kuualehua Suganuma, (Kalakaua Vista), Yoko Chun, FF3 Alika Akiona (Honolulu Fire Department), Zani Okuda, Pamela Young, Nicholas Spiroigliozzi (Department of Education), Keanu Young (Rep. Lee’s Office staff), Jennifer Kelley, Jim Walsh, Kari Debusca, Lt. Eric Brown (Honolulu Police Department), Teresa Lau, Kent Anderson (Office of Affordable Housing), Mel Apana, Les Hunkele, Les Sakai, Keith Fukumoto, Shirl Whitfield, Lia Patrick, Keith Kurahashi and Ann Kusao (Keith Kurahashi, Inc.), Keith Miyahara, Ian Colte, Raymond Pang (Sen. Dela Cruz’s Office staff), Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, Councilmember Ernie Martin, Boy Scout Troop 664, Nola J. Frank (Neighborhood Commission Office staff), plus others who did not sign the guest list.

RECOGNITION: Pamela Young was presented a lei and certificate of recognition in appreciation of community service as a member of the Mililani Mauka/Launani Valley Neighborhood Board from June 1, 1997 to November 28, 2010.

Vacancies) – None at this time


Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) – FF3 Alika Akiona reported the following:

January 2011 Statistics – Included 6 structure fires, 3 rubbish, 1 vehicle, 35 medical, 6 miscellaneous, and 1 major incident (Kunia Road-6 companies responded).
Fire Safety Tip – Smoke alarms save lives and are an important part of a home fire escape plan. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms have contributed to a 50% decrease in fire deaths. According to the National Fire Protection Association, occupants are twice as likely to survive a home fire if there are working smoke alarms. An estimated 890 lives could be saved yearly if homes contained working smoke alarms.
Smoke Alarms and Fire Safety Tips – 1) Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level on the home, including the basement 2) Test smoke alarms at least once a month or as directed by the manufacturer. 3) Replace smoke alarm batteries yearly or as directed by the manufacturer. 4) The best smoke alarms are hardwired and interconnected so that if one alarm detects smoke, all alarms in the house are activated. These alarms have backup batteries that must be maintained. 5) Designate a safe meeting place outside the home and practice your family escape plan.

Honolulu Police Department (HPD) – Lt. Eric Brow reported the following:

January 2011 Statistics – Included 1 auto theft recovery, 4 auto thefts, 7 burglaries, 5 unauthorized entries into a motor vehicle (UEMV), and 5 thefts.

Questions, comments and concerns followed:

Home Entry – No information was available regarding entry into a neighbor’s home by a disposal company. Everyone was advised to be aware of solicitors.
Fire Hydrant Accident – No information was available on the accident to the fire hydrant on Meheula Parkway.  Statistics are not maintained on minor traffic accidents by the Department.

Mayor Peter Carlisle’s Representative – Collins Lam was unable to attend tonight’s meeting; the Neighborhood Assistant read the following report:

Mililani Pothole Repairs – Please provide an address, block number or cross street and call the Pothole Hotline at 768-777 to report any pothole.
Property Tax Deferment for Seniors – City ordinances currently provide property tax relief via a home exemption and an in-lieu of home exemption for qualifying seniors. A circuit breaker or tax credit for qualifying property owners is available. The tax credit is equal to the amount by which the real property tax exceeds a percentage of income, subject to income limits and other requirements. To apply for a tax credit, you must file an application annually with the Treasury Division, Department of Budget and Fiscal Services.
Ainamakua Drive – Layden Akasaki of the City Department of Transportation Services reported the following: Ainamakua residents continue to make U-turns at the intersection of Ainamakua Drive and Makaikai Street, near Mauka Elementary School. ”No U-turn” signage and delineators will be installed along the painted median at the intersection. The bus stop on Maikaikai Street will be relocated 20 feet back from its present location, and delineators will be added to prevent illegal right turns on to Ainamakua Drive.

Questions, comments and concerns followed:

Location of the new “no U-turn” sign – There will be two signs, one (1) placed on Olaloa side of the street. Request for delineators would be quicker through the City Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM). The information will be relayed to the school.

Board of Water Supply – Erwin Kawata reported the following:

Water Main Breaks – No water main breaks for January 2011.
Chromium VI (Hexavalent Chromium) Test Results Available – BWS and the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) recently released test results of initial island-wide screening for Chromium VI. The preliminary sampled water systems serve the majority of customers in West, Central and East Oahu as well as the North Shore and Windward Oahu; the test results can be found on
According to the DOH, the Chromium VI results are within the expected range of naturally occurring levels for Hawaii and are not indicative of industrial contamination. BWS continues to meet all federal and state drinking water standards and Oahu’` tap water is safe for human consumption. Sampling will continue to develop a more comprehensive picture of Chromium VI u buts systems; future test results will be made available as public record. For more information check out a Chromium VI FAQ sheet available on, or call the BWS Communications office at 748-5041.
Halawa Xeriscape Garden Workshops Schedule –

o     Controlling Garden Pest Organically – March 19, 2011, 10:00a.m. – 11:30 a.m.; register after March 1, 2011.
o     User Friendly Compost –  March 26, 2011, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00; register after March 8, 2011.
o     Decorate an Egg the Xeriscape Way – April 9, 2011, 10”30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; register after March 2, 2011.
o     Worm Composting –  April 16, 2011, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; register after march 22, 2011
o     Registration – To register for classes call 748-5363 or email [email protected] For a list of upcoming classes visit

Councilmember Ernie Martin – Councilmember Martin circulated his written report, introduced staff member Heidi Tsuneyoshi, and highlighted the following:

Cellular Antenna Update – A 56 foot antenna has been approved. An appeal is pending with a Council hearing scheduled for Thursday, March 24, 2011 at Council Meeting Room, 2nd floor at 12:30 p.m.
Repaving of Lehiwa Drive and Meheula Parkway – Follow up will be done.
Repaving on Lehiwa Drive to the Middle School – Follow up will be done.
Certificate of Recognition – Pamela Young was presented a certificate of recognition for being elected to the Board of Education.
Chair Hazama thanked the Councilmember for coordinating the meeting between DTS and the school to discuss and resolve traffic safety measures.

Military – Captain Robinson reported the following:

Joint Venture Education forum (JVEF) School Partnership Program – Units continue partnerships with Mililani Ike and Mililani Uka Elementary Schools with reading programs, math for fourth and fifth graders and school beautification in March or early April.
Deployment – 500 area soldiers are deployed.


Disturbing Email – 1) Board member Yoshimura expressed concern receiving an email criticizing several Board member’s character. Most disturbing was the fact that a copy of this email was brought home by his young daughter. Yoshimura’s name and other board members were mentioned negatively in the email. He noted the Board is there to service the community and members are non-paid volunteers who try their best to make the right decision (s) for the community. He stated that the email is a bad example to our children about service in our community. 2) A resident did not find the email negative. 3) Board member Costales said that everyone has a right to their opinion. However, research should be done before making untrue and inaccurate accusations. Organizations and individuals making these types of accusations have no credibility.


Governor’s Representative – A representative was not present; no report available.

Senator Donovan Dela Cruz – Sen. Dela Cruz reported the following:

Deadline – This Thursday is the deadline for the first lateral (cross over). The Senator Chair’s the Water, Land, and Housing (WLH) Committee.
Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) – The Senator is working closely with Senator Kidani to get Mililani a fair share of CIP funding.
Mililani Senior Affordable Housing – A letter will be sent to Hawaii Housing Finance Development Corporation (HHFDC) with the community concerns; a copy of the response will be sent to Chair Hazama.
Senate Bill 939 – Relating to cyber bullying passed and was referred to the Judiciary and Labor Committee (JDL).
Senate Bill 638 – Relates to planned community associations such as Mililani Town Association (MTA).
Board Meeting Rotation – It was announced that Sen. Dela Cruz and Sen. Kidani would alternate attending Board meeting.

Senator Michelle Kidani – A representative was not present; written report provided.

Representative Marilyn Lee – Keanu Young circulated the written report and was available for questions.

Representative Marcus Oshiro – A representative was not present; written report was provided. A Pre-Session Forum is scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., at Wahiawa District Park, Hake Koa Room.


Discussion of Proposed Meheula Vista Senior Affordable Rental Project – Chair reminded everyone about order and decorum, and public testimony is limited to one (1) minute. Ellis requested that speakers should be given two (2) minutes.  There were no objection.


It was asked if Castle & Cooke could redraw the sales promotion that Mauka would have an arts center.
Last month 800 residents signed a petition in opposition to this project. The next step would be legal action against Castle & Cooke.
Noise and sirens would be a problem 24/7.
Seniors should stay in an area near their current home.
Both art and senior center are needed. Schools have inadequate in art and music programs due to budgetary cuts.
Board members and public officials were asked to stand with the community in opposition and vote no to the project.
Services to the area are a mile away (grocery shopping, etc.).
The traffic study is flawed; parking issues; seniors would need cars.
Concern about the amount of units on a small lot providing 1/3 parking for tenants.
Limiting applicants who have cars.
Impacts to surrounding area affects the quality of life.
Castle & Cooke promises were not delivered.
Sen. Dela Cruz sent a survey to Mauka residents.
Castle & Cooke’s master plan to the Land Use Commission Planning Committee included infrastructure, schools, affordable housing, etc.. The commercial property was put on the plan. Schools are no overcrowded.
Why did Castle & Cooke not make provisions for senior housing? The resident opposed Castle & Cooke’s deception.
The age limit is too young; age limits are a federal mandate.
Too many high rises.
An arts program would bring out the quality in kids; build something for kids on the site. Prefer that something is built for the kids. When the homes were purchased buyers were told the lot would remain commercial.
A letter from Citizens Against Residential Expansion (CARE) Mililani circulated asking the Board to oppose the proposed Meheula Vista Senior Affordable Rental Development. If is not possible, they ask that the Board not take a position.


Noise in the area is minimal, with school traffic during and after school. Seniors want to be independent. The Catholic Charities are not out for a profit.
We need to be fair and respectful to our kupuna. Catholic Charities is a trustworthy and responsible organization. Housing is needed for kupuna and homeless families.
Two (2) Kalakaua Vista residents spoke in support of the project and shared their experiences living in a senior affordable housing.
Not all seniors can afford private senior communities. Mililani should embrace the project and the first to have senior affordable rental housing. There is a waiting list for nursing homes.

Questions, comments and concerns:

There are six (6) senior housing projects that have been approved by the City and State built by GSF LLC.
The average age of tenants is the upper 70’s.
Needs assessments is considered by the City during permitting
The intent is to have the taller buildings along the property tree line.
Due to lack of ridership Bus #51 stops at Kuaoa Street and is inconvenient.
The required percentage of guest parking stalls has been exceeded and is 48% of tenant units.
Depending on the project, minimum age is either 55 or 62.  Federal mandated age is 55.
City Council makes the final approval. A Board presentation is required, but a Board vote is not necessary.

Follow up will be done if there is flexibility to change the age. It was reiterated federal mandate age is 55 years.
Staff would use the guest or visitor center parking.
Off-site parking during peak hours is a major concern.
Once tenant parking stalls have been assigned, if tenants purchasing a car and parks on the street would be grounds for eviction.
It was requested having the design changed to 2-story buildings. Follow up will be done regarding alternatives as to what changes could be done, liability issues, etc.
It was mentioned the developer should not continue if the community opposes the project.
A ‘No’ Board vote cuts off communication on the development.
Senior facilities provide activities for their residents.
A density concern was raised and asked why build 300 units if not for profit.
.  A majority of the community went through the process and now will take legal action.

Yoshimura moved that a letter in support with conditions of the Meheula Vista be sent to the Honolulu City Council, Hawaii Housing Finance Corporation:

Discussion Followed:

Nakasone amended the motion to reduce the number of units, and reducing building to 2-stories; accepted by Yoshimura.
Ellis amended the motion adding tenants addresses not be used for district exceptions; accepted by Yoshimura.
Nakasone noted number of parking stalls should concur with existing law.
Suwa amended the motion adding to the age limit occupancy, and consider raising the age limit to 62; accepted by Yoshimura.
Nakasone commented there are too many units if each tenant is not permitted a parking stall. She suggested the CARE Mililani handout be incorporated in the motion.
Oishi was concerned with parking stalls being limited by the State/City. Traffic from a senior project would not burden the schools
Ellis noted if the developer wants to be a good neighbor a two-story parking structure could be built.
Costales said a good healthy discussion was held this evening.
Suwa suggested conducting density reassessment and re-checking traffic concerns, re-phasing. If and when the development progresses, would the public be allowed input.
Nakasone requested one parking stall per tenant, guest, and employees. She added that Miliani Town Association (MTA) wrote a letter opposing the project.
Chair commented that this developer has experience in building senior projects as evidenced by previous projects that have passed both the Council and HHFDC. These types of project will go through. However, conditions should be set.
Mililani has approximately 13,000 units and building of senior housing is not mandated by the State or City in master plans.

The motion was in support of Meheula Vista with the following conditions reduce the number of units, mandate occupants address not be used for school district exceptions, and consider raising the age limit to 62 was ADOPTED,6-3-0 (AYE: Agader, Costales, Oishi, Suwa, Yoshimura, Hazama; NO: Ellis, Nakasone, Tamashiro).


Page 5, should read, “…Ellis strongly opposed the project. Tthe motion FAILED TO BE ADOPTED, 3-1-1 (AYE: Nakasone, Tamashiro; NO: Ellis, Suwa; ABSTAIN: Hazama).
Page 3, Discussion followed, item 2 should read, “…Ainamakua…”
Page 5, delete item 13, “…Services Provided by Catholic Charities – Catholic Charities have many different services provided island wide and this facility would be added to the transportation program already utilized on Oahu…”
Page 5, Discussion followed item 1 should read, “…opposition…”; item 3 should read, “…tries; It…”
Page 6, item 4 should read, “…not…”; item 5 should read, “…conditions…”

Page 6 after Suwa withdrew the motion add, “…the Board asked the GSF & Catholic Charities representatives questions regarding the number of parking stalls, number of stories of buildings, infractions of children overnight & number of people living in the units…”


Transportation – The next Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OMPO) Public meeting is on Thursday, February 24, 2011 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Recognition – Presented earlier in the meeting.


Next Meeting – The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. at the Mililani Mauka Elementary School Cafeteria, 95-1111 Makaikai Street.
Broadcast – Videotape of Board meetings are scheduled to be shone on `Olelo Channel 54, Sunday 12:00 p.m. (2nd and 4th weeks of the month, and Channel 49, Friday’s at 9:00 p.m. (2nd week of the month).

ADJOURNMENT – The meeting adjourned at 9:26 p.m.

Submitted by
Nola J. Frank, Neighborhood Commission

Reviewed by:
Dean Hazama, Chair