The nearly three-hour meeting at a gym in Haleiwa lasted till nearly 10 p.m.
After the public testimony, the room grew tense as Councilman Ernie Martin, who represents the North Shore but is not a member of the committee, stated his opposition to the proposed development despite considering Wallace a “good friend.”
“There’s overwhelming consensus against the project,” Martin said. “I’ve been very reluctant to support any type of development in my district … I subscribe to that philosophy that growth should be more directed towards urban Honolulu as well as the second city.”
The majority of attendees who testified opposed the bills. Many argued they would set a dangerous precedent for rezoning agricultural land for housing.
There also were concerns about Haleiwa’s already heavy traffic.
“I see that this project could provide some solid opportunities for affordable housing,” said Councilman Ikaika Anderson. However, he added, “it’s obvious that the community still has a lot of concern here.”
Anderson was one of thee committee members at the meeting. He and Councilman Brandon Elefante supported committee Chair Kymberly Pine’s call to defer the bill.
Councilman Ron Menor, who attended but is not a committee member, said the decision demonstrated the council’s consideration of public interests.
“I hope that tonight’s recommendation from the chair and this committee’s support for her recommendation demonstrates that as council members we do listen to the public, we do listen to the community,” he said.
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