HCDA Park Management UpdatePosted on Oct 3, 2017 in Main
Parks Update 10/13/17
Management: Contractors are beginning work on basic repairs to the park. The state Health Department visited the site where a hole had been dug in an area that had been capped to keep contaminated soil safely contained. It appears we can rectify the problem quickly and safely.
Security: State Sheriffs continue to provide security for the park while it is closed.
Park Update 10-12-17
HCDA staff did an assessment of the damage done to the park. There are areas where water from broken sprinklers were next to light poles with exposed wiring. In total, our preliminary numbers show damage to 38 light poles, 21 light fixtures, 12 other electrical (junction boxes and other fixtures), and 8 water fixtures (sprinkler heads, backflow preventers, and water fountains.) We are currently working with our contractors to prioritize repairs. In addition, an illegal camper appears to have dug a hole in the ground over an area that has been capped to prevent contaminated soil from a former industrial area from rising to the surface. We are working with the state Health Department to rectify the situation.
In Kewalo Basin Park, two light poles have been tampered with and two others are cracked, likely because of the elements. We are investigating further.
Aloha Park Users,
The Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) will be temporarily closing the Waterfront, Gateway, and the Kewalo Basin Parks to all users starting at 10 p.m. on October 8.
Unfortunately, several parks that are assets of the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) have suffered significant and substantial damage from the recent inundation of illegal campers from other parts of the island and the lack of criminal trespass enforcement during park closure hours.
The purpose of HCDA Park Rules, under HAR § 15-210-1, “. . . is to govern the use and protection of all parks under the jurisdiction, management, and operation of the Hawaii community development authority, providing passive and active, cultural, educational and commercial activities for the well-being of all who visit the area including permitted park uses.”
HCDA has authority under HAR § 15-210-15(b), to “. . . close or restrict the public use of all or any portions thereof, when necessary for the maintenance or protection of the area or the safety and welfare of persons or property.” Emphasis added.
The purpose of the park closure is for the maintenance and protection of the area and the safety and welfare of persons using the park. In particular,
- Waterfront Park is being closed due to the increased number of exposed live voltage wires on at least 30 light poles, the increased number of loose dogs and related dog attacks of park users, the increased number of vandalized and broken fixtures such as bathroom sinks/toilets, and the amount of trash and human waste, etc. HCDA is unable to manage the park under these conditions without closing it first.
- Gateway and Kewalo Basin Parks are being closed for maintenance given recent large events and future planned events. HCDA is coordinating its efforts across all parks to efficiently deploy public resources.
Here is a link to recent images of the parks and the issues discussed above, https://dbedt.hawaii.gov/hcda/files/2017/10/Waterfront-Park-10.04.2017-1.pdf.
While the park is closed, the Sheriff may choose to enforce HRS § 708-814.5, criminal trespass onto public parks and recreational grounds. HCDA understands that the Sheriff will be enforcing the criminal trespass law during our park closure for maintenance and public health and safety. This is good timing, since the Sheriff’s enforcement of the law helps HCDA more efficiently manage the parks for the public’s use and enjoyment. The State Homeless Coordinator will be conducting outreach to illegal campers who may be homeless, over 120 tents and 180 individual campers at last count. We are grateful for their assistance.
HCDA will not know the extent of the damage to park facilities or how much we need to repair until the illegal campers leave the parks. At that time, we will be in a better position to evaluate the damage, plan remedial action to ensure the parks are safe, and then reopen the park. Some areas of the park require less attention. We will reopen those areas in a phased approach as soon as possible. We anticipate that the Waterfront Park will remain closed the longest, since it has sustained the most damage.
Thank you for your support as we address this important public health and safety matter. You can direct any public inquiries about the park closures to HCDA at (808) 594-0300, firstname.lastname@example.org, or our website at http://dbedt.hawaii.gov/HCDA.
Jesse K. Souki
Hawaii Community Development Authority