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Thursday, May 29, 2014
Aiea: More Condos, Fewer Traffic Lanes, and Toxic Waste
By News Release @ 3:24 AM :: 4670 Views :: Honolulu County, Environment, Development, Rail

Mayor Caldwell signs Live Work Play ‘Aiea development agreement

News Release from Office of the Mayor May 28, 2014

‘Aiea – Mayor Kirk Caldwell was joined today by Councilmembers Ikaika Anderson and Breene Harimoto, construction industry representatives, and community members at the site of the former Kamehameha Drive-In Theater to sign a development agreement with developer Robertson Property Group for Live Work Play ‘Aiea.

The $766 million, 14-acre project that will include up to 1,500 residential units in five towers will be the city’s first catalytic Transit Oriented Development project along the rail route.  Live Work Play ‘Aiea will be a mixed-use sustainable community that will incorporate residential units, offices, restaurants, retail shops, a neighborhood market, and public spaces to create an “Urban Village” where people will live, work, and play.

There will be increased public benefit by entering into a Development Agreement rather than a Unilateral Agreement.  In addition to making 30 percent of the total units affordable housing, options for lower-income rental housing will be created within the transit corridor.  A $1,000,000 community foundation endowment will go towards improvements to the area.  Kaonohi Street will have wider sidewalks, street trees, bike sharrows, and a bike line.  (ie less room for cars) Sustainability measures addressing low impact development design, connectivity, light pollution reduction, energy and water conservation, space for a farmers market, and others are being considered for the development.

Bill 68, which approved development zoning, was adopted by City Council and signed into law by Mayor Caldwell last month.  Grading and building permits must be applied for and approved prior to the beginning of construction.

-END-

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EPA selects City and County of Honolulu for a $400,000 Brownfields grant

Funding will revitalize communities by cleaning up and redeveloping contaminated sites

News Release from US EPA May 28, 2014

HONOLULU - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the City and County of Honolulu will be one of 171 communities nationwide receiving brownfields funding to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.

The FY14 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants will give communities and businesses a chance to return economic stability to under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods through the assessment and clean-up of abandoned industrial and commercial properties, places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

“Brownfields funding allows communities to innovate new ways to retrofit formerly polluted, unused sites for sustainable new uses,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The City and County of Honolulu will not only protect the environment and public health with the funding, but foster new job growth opportunities for its local communities.”

The City and County of Honolulu will be using its $400,000 brownfield hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds to conduct up to 12 Phase I and up to 10 Phase II environmental site assessments in support of the city’s Rail Transit project. Grant funds also will be used to develop an inventory and prioritize brownfield sites, and conduct community outreach and cleanup planning activities along the city’s rail transit oriented development zones.

A Phase I assessment determines the likelihood that some form of environmental contamination is present which includes a complete and thorough investigation on the history of a particular site. A Phase II assessment is a more comprehensive investigation that may include the collection of soil or groundwater samples to determine contamination conditions at the site.

A total of approximately $23.5 million is going to communities that have been impacted by plant closures. Other selected recipients include tribes and communities in 44 states across the country; and at least 50 of the grants are going to U.S. Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. EPA grant recipient communities.

Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $21 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 93,000 jobs nationwide. These projects demonstrate the positive impact a small investment of federal brownfields funding can have on community revitalization through leveraging jobs, producing clean energy, and providing recreation opportunities for surrounding neighborhoods. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.

More information on brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/

More information on EPA’s brownfields:

Program http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/

Success Stories http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/index.htm

Benefits http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/overview/Brownfields-Benefits-postcard.pdf

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