HONOLULU — The Oahu Burial Council is questioning the decision to allow redevelopment of the Honolulu Advertiser building without an archaeological study.
Outgoing council vice chair Jonathan Likelike Scheuer said he doesn’t understand how such a decision could be made when the site is a few blocks from Kawaiahao Church, where ancient Hawaiian remains were disinterred.
The council is calling for closer scrutiny of the condominium project. At a meeting earlier this week the council said the State Historic Preservation Division removed the project from the panel’s oversight, by not requiring the development to conduct an archaeological inventory, Hawaii News Now reported.
The developer’s consultant was convincing about the low potential for finding human remains at the site, said Susan Lebo, lead Oahu archaeologist for the historic preservation division.
“The project’s proponent and the archaeological firm they hired provided additional information of geotechnical data,” she said.
The developers of 801 South Street say they complied with state historic preservation requirements and will leave it up to the state on how to proceed.
A Circuit Court judge last month ordered construction to stop on the second high-rise planned after he found that the state violated Hawaii’s historic preservation law.
Some Native Hawaiians say 801 South Street should have followed the lead of other Kakaako developers that opted to conduct a full archaeological inventory study as a precaution.