The Ahupua’a o Nanakuli Homestead hosted another meeting to discuss extending the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road (WCEAR) through the Nanakuli homesteads. The next steps discussed were a site visit to the proposed extension areas of the WCEAR, and holding a public meeting again on February 8, 2016; 7-9pm at Ka Waihona o ka Na’auao cafeteria. Special mahalo to Kelly Cruz of the City Dept. Of Transportation Services; William Aila Jr., DHHL Deputy Director; Nanakuli Ranch lessees, and all other meeting attendees for taking the time to come and share your mana’o.
In 2007, advocates worked with Sen. Kalani English and I to expand his bill to legalize indigenous Hawaiian architecture to include residential structures. That year, we passed SB1917, which gave the City one year to adopt an indigenous Hawaiian architecture building code. Here is a link to the bill:
Unfortunately, the City has not adopted indigenous Hawaiian architecture yet, since it has been difficult for them to find model building codes to emulate.
In light of this, advocates such as Francis Sinenci, Daniel Anthony, and others are hoping to propose legislation to de-regulate/legalize indigenous Hawaiian architecture. States like TX have legalized living in similar indigenous structures, like tee pees.
In TX, the “Community First” project (pictured), featuring small living quarters, such as tee pees, micro units, and mobile homes has been a huge success. I hope we can use this as a model to incorporate indigenous Hawaiian architecture into part of the solution to our homeless crisis. Click here for more information about the TX project: http://sxsweco.com/news/2015/community-first-austins-visionary-impact-village
Here is a link to an article about indigenous Hawaiian architecture:
Posted on: Tuesday, October 8, 2002
Grass-hut bill gains support
• Hale for Maui
By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau
WAILUKU, Maui — It’s not easy to construct a traditional Hawaiian hut — and not just because of the specialized building techniques or materials that aren’t readily available.
Try getting a building permit.
It can be next to impossible, says Francis Sinenci, a Native Hawaiian master builder from Hana who has learned to avoid hale projects in jurisdictions with rigid building codes heavily influenced by modern construction requirements.
In Maui County, for instance, it’s a lot easier to obtain a permit for a Western dwelling than it is for an indigenous one, with all the extra hoops you’re required to jump through, he says.
Those days may be coming to an end. A Maui County Council committee last week recommended approval of a bill in the latest step toward adoption of administrative rules that give Hawaiian grass huts the same legal standing as Western structures.
When the rules are finally adopted, they will be the first of their kind in the state and perhaps serve as a guide for local governments across the nation and the Pacific.
Sinenci is a member of a Maui County advisory committee that has been working on draft rules that will allow qualified builders to go through the same process to construct indigenous structures as they would for a Western dwelling.
Proposed rules allow construction of four different kinds of Hawaiian grass huts using materials mainly grown on the Islands. The dwellings would rely on wood posts and lashing techniques to hold the structure together, have a maximum dimension of 30 by 60 feet and be used for limited purposes, such as eating, meeting, retailing and storage. No plumbing or electrical infrastructure will be allowed.
The effort is a landmark one, according to state Sen. J. Kalani English, D-5th (Kahului, Upcountry Maui), who introduced the proposal four years ago while he was a member of the Maui County Council.
The Hana-raised, part-Hawaiian English recalled that at the time an increasing number of people were wanting to build grass houses, but county inspectors were turning them away, saying such structures could not meet building code requirements. For those who insisted, the road to approval required several extra and time-consuming steps, governed by an “alternative styles” section of the code.
English was not happy.
“I found that offensive,” he said. “This is Hawai’i. It is not an alternative style. It IS the style.”
So, in an unprecedented move, he got the council to adopt a whole new chapter of the building code for indigenous architecture. An ordinance required the Department of Public Works and Waste Management to formalize the rules.
County codes administrator Ralph Nagamine said the task force has perhaps six more months of work to do, including scheduling a series of public hearings.
English said Maui’s effort is being watched by more than a few government jurisdictions that are grappling with how to treat indigenous structures. He said he has gotten calls from officials as far away as American Samoa and New Mexico.
While the goal is to permit indigenous structures, a certain amount of compromise was necessary. For example, the proposed rules require fire sprinklers in huts built within 100 feet of any other structure.
“It’s trying to fit a work of art and a traditional way of doing things into modern, Western-type building code rules,” said architect Hans Riecke, a committee member. “The outcome is a compromise.”
Riecke, who attempted to get a building permit for a canoe hale in Lahaina two years ago but was ultimately unsuccessful, said the Hawaiians of old built their huts themselves and understood they weren’t meant to be permanent. After all, he said, materials were abundant and lots of labor was available.
“Fire hazards were not considered,” he said.
Other proposed compromises call for use of cement in rock footings for extra sturdiness and use of newer building materials when traditional materials are not available. For instance, pili grass for thatching is hard to find.
Proposed allowable building materials also include nylon cord for lashing material and some woods — such as ironwood, eucalyptus, strawberry guava and keawe — that did not exist before Capt. Cook arrived in 1778.
The committee is hoping to find some $25,000 to finance testing of various woods to determine their strength.
Nagamine said it should be made clear that these Hawaiian huts, with no plumbing and electrical sources, will be no substitute for single-family dwellings.
But Sinenci argues that people should be allowed to live in the hales.
“This is Hawai’i,” he said. “Our people should be able to sleep in their hales. It’s better than a tent.”
English said he believes the rules will evolve over time and the day will come when the structures will be more functional.
“Tests have shown they are sturdy enough to survive storms that destroy Western-style buildings,” he said. “The wind blows right through them.”
I spoke with DOT Director Ford Fuchigami today, and he informed me that work on the Nanakuli turn lanes will resume on 11/23/15. Work was delayed because DOT discovered utility lines that were not known to them prior to project planning. For the first week, work will occur outside the barriers during the day. Thereafter, work will resume at night.
Turn lanes will be at Haleakala Ave. and Nanakuli Ave., in the eastbound direction. The Nanakuli Ave. turn lane will include an extension creating a westbound turn lane into Nanakuli Beach Park.
Here is a link to the turn lane project work schedule and other project details from DOT:
Update from former world longboard champion Duane DeSoto:
Please use this link to sign up your keiki for the event.
This will allow for you to skip the waiver signing at the beach. We will also be doing beach entries so either way. Just easier and faster for all of us if you do the sign up in link. If no access no worries. Beach enter or email me with name of keiki, age, address and gender.
Mahalo for spreading the word. FYI, the below will be happening.
Respectfully we will have a special moment for Ray Ray to have his first surf since his unfortunate encounter. In support of his bravery we will all enter the ocean with Ray Ray reconnecting him with the kai.
For the Keiki
– Bubble Guy will be sharing his bubble fun with all.
– Good Action Mobile Entertainment will be there with DJ Buddhabud and DJ Kevin Light Year
– Ata Pae cooking 300lb quarter hind hulihuli style.
– Jamba Juice for all the contest participants.
– Canoe and Subsquatch exhibition with DeSoto uncles and Brian Keaulana
– Goodie bags from Vans for all entries
– A Special Benefit for Ray Ray and his ʻohana.
– Free breakfast and Coffee from Mcdonalds for 200+
Your support is key to getting as many keiki there as possible. Mahalo
Aloha no Duane
Waianae resident Frank Ruiz has always had a passion for the environment. He has supported clean up efforts by Nani o Waianae and pushed for a bill to allow jet skis to be used for ocean clean ups. Taking his passion a step further, Ruiz recently started a non profit, Puma Punku Ocean Clean Up. Here is further information from pumapunkuhawaii.com:
Puma Punku Ocean Clean Up Inc. was created with a vision by Frank Ruiz, a waterman and retired Longshoreman. In his 27 year career on the waterfront, he had witnessed firsthand the decay of our beach fronts with the damaging trash washed up on our ocean shores from Tsunamis, Hurricanes and other artificial debris. In December of 2012 he gathered friends Jeffrey Williams, Sam Keanaaina and Darren Chu and their journey for a cleaner future began…
Photos from a recent clean up of Ala Wai Harbor by Puma Punku Ocean Clean Up. Here is a link to the news story about the clean up: http://khon2.com/2015/09/26/new-non-profit-emerges-to-clean-up-trash-ridden-ala-wai-harbor/
For more information, visit pumapunkuhawaii.com