Friday, July 29, 2016

SMV Comments on Request to Transfer Liquor License

Paradise Park has requested to transfer the liquor license for Treetops, held by James and Michael Boersema to Paradise Park, Inc., James W. Y. Wong,  Darryl P. Wong, and Warren M. Wong.  View the Park's request to the Honolulu Liquor Commission here. 

Below is testimony submitted by Save Manoa Valley for the Honolulu Liquor Commission from Save Manoa Valley regarding agenda item, Stock Transfer, Appl. No 16-6201, from DRW, Inc dba Treetops at Paradise Park Restaurant.

July 28, 2016
Mr. Michael S. Yamaguchi, Chair
Honolulu Liquor Commission
711 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite 600
Honolulu, NI  96813

Re:  July 28, 2016 Agenda Item, Stock Transfer Application:  #1.  Appl. No. 16-6201 from DRW, Inc dba Treetops at Paradise Park Restaurant, Dispenser General License (Category No. 1 - Standard Bar)

Dear Chairman Yamaguchi:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Stock Transfer Application #16-6201 dba Treetops at Paradise Park Restaurant. 

Save Manoa Valley (SMV) has no objection to the proposed transfer of stock from James and Michael Boersema to Paradise Park Inc; provided, however, that transfer resulting in the 100% ownership by Paradise Park, Inc. does not lead to intensification of noise, use and activity generated in the restaurant.  SMV recommends that the Honolulu Liquor Commission impose certain conditions for approval of the stock transfer to assure the immediate and surrounding community that the dispensing of alcoholic beverages under a Dispenser General License (Category No. 1-Standard Bar) does not adversely affect neighbors from the quiet enjoyment of their property nor pose potential safety hazards on their residential streets and surroundings. 

Save Manoa Valley, a Hawai'i non-profit corporation, is dedicated to preserving, protecting and advancing the ecological, environmental, socio-economic and cultural attributes of Manoa Valley and in particular preserving and protecting lands designated as Conservation Lands in Manoa by the State of Hawaii.  Paradise Park sits on Conservation Land under a Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) from Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources.  Paradise Park ceased its primary operations for its permitted botanical and zoological gardens around 1994.  Treetops, a restaurant, is an accessory or ancillary use of Paradise Park's botanical and zoological garden under its CDUP. 

SMV concerns are as follows: 
1.       Treetops is located deep within Manoa Valley;  a distance of about 3 miles from Dole Street along Manoa Road completely surrounded by single family residential uses.  There are no major roads leading to Treetops; access/egress is via our neighborhood collector/distributor street network consisting of two lane roads.  Manoa Valley Elementary School is located about 1 mile away from Treetops on Manoa Road.  The posted speed limit for these residential streets is 25 mph and the only traffic controls on Manoa Road are stop signs, including a five-way intersection.   
2.       There are no other traffic generators or sound barriers near Treetops to reduce or absorb noise from the restaurant.   The ambient noise level is the quiet solitude of the natural environment and valley which is frequently pierced with the entertainment sounds and noise generated by Treetops activities and events particularly in the late evenings and nights up to 10 pm.  Immediate neighbors to Treetops and some located in neighborhoods 1/4 to 1/2 mile away are disturbed or awakened by the noise and sounds emanating from Treetops resulting in complaints to the establishment, neighborhood board, City Council and Department of Land and Natural Resources.  
3.       The winding and narrow portion of the Manoa Road, with a steep slope on one side, leading up to Treetops is considered by the City  and County a substandard road.  With parked cars on this road, it narrows to one lane requiring  full and unimpaired attention to the oncoming automobile traffic and pedestrians headed to or from Manoa Falls.   This hilly, narrow and winding road with potential automobile, bus and pedestrian conflicts is a known hazard area and is the site of accidents.   
4.       There is significant community concern about Treetops restaurant increasing the level of night time entertainment events, loud and blaring music, noise and private parties, including liquor dispensing, further threatening the ability of nearby homeowners from safely enjoying the quiet sanctity of their private property and community. 
In light of these conditions and concerns, SMV recommends that the Honolulu Liquor Commission impose the condition for approval of the subject stock transfer that any and all liquor dispensing in the Treetops restaurant cease at sundown with no exceptions for private parties, entertainment events or other activities. 
Thank you for your consideration.
Gordon Aoyagi, Chair
Save Manoa Valley
P0 Box 61456
Honolulu, HI  96839-1456

cc            Council Member Ann Kobayashi

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