As Sophie Cocke reported just last week, a South Korean billionaire has sought the city’s permission to build a wall to protect his beachfront property in Kahala.

On Tuesday, our media partner KITV reported that Samsung executive Lee Kun-hee got the OK from Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting.

“The shoreline setback requirement is always in effect when someone wants to build in the shoreline setback,” said DPP Deputy Director Art Challacombe. “In most properties it’s 40-feet, but not all properties.”

Kahala erosion

What is left of Kahala Beach disappears at high tide.

Sophie Cocke/Civil Beat

As Cocke reported, critics say approval of Lee’s request from the city would signal “a destructive trend” when it comes to allowing seawalls and other structures that harden the shoreline.

Lee’s two properties were formerly owned by Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto, the guy that put up all those weird statues on one of his Kahala properties.

Kawamoto eventually sold his properties to Alexander & Baldwin.


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