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Letters | 8-20-13


A great misunderstanding about intent of objections

Some of you may have read the article in West Hawaii Today published Aug 5, while some read only the headline. While I was properly quoted in the article, I did not create the headline. However, I do think the article was fair and balanced.

Since I am vice president of the Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance Corporation and assigned to handle the matter addressed in the article I speak for myself and the board of directors of the corporation. There seems to be a great misunderstanding about the intent of the objections of Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance to the operation of the swap meet.

For instance, I have been directly and threateningly accused of “… wanting to close the entire operation.” Nothing I or the corporation’s officers have said is even close to that. Yes, we have appealed the way the swap is operated meet to the Hawaii County Planning Commission, but only in the manner in which the swap meet is administered. In the above referenced article we are quoted “In the appeal, Ranchos residents said they do not have a problem with the swap meet itself, but rather the ‘chaotic parking problems created by the event.’” This statement is absolutely true. Although many residents of Ranchos object to the very existence of the swap meet, that is not our position. About two and a half years ago, the corporation spent about $67,000 to have the entry to Ranchos, at the juncture of Highway 11 and Prince Kuhio, repaved and new shoulders installed. That is exactly where the weekly Saturday swap meet is now held. Now, we watch and weep about the rapid destruction of those roads by cars using our road shoulders as a parking lot.

Our appeal is that the county Planning Commission re-word or reconstruct the special permit to prohibit this damage and the danger parking on road shoulders creates. For those who do not understand, I will make an less complex analogy. Suppose some new enterprise opened a barbecue business on its property but used your barbeque pit. The county takes their word that such is not the case and proceeds with the permit. Would you be happy with that?

This swap meet business (which charges $15/per stall per Saturday) is not only a detriment to the roads belonging to corporation, but has created a dangerous condition that we feel is a bad traffic accident waiting to happen. We aver that it is not if, but when. This matter is under consideration countywide. There is a video of the last meeting of the county Planning commission where members discuss this issue rationally. I recommend it to those interested and especially to those who otherwise “think” with their emotions rather than with reason and logic.

Galen Lutz

Vice President,

Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintence Corp.