Meeting Set on Kahala ‘Museum’

Wednesday - December 15, 2010
By MidWeek Staff
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One of Gensiro Kawamoto’s residential properties (above) stands neglected in Kahala, irking neighbors and inspiring legal action. Photo from Michele Van Hessen.

The Kahala Community Association and state Rep. Barbara Marumoto are calling a meeting for 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at Kahala Park Pavilion to address plans for an art museum and garden proposed by absentee landlord Gensiro Kawamoto.

The Japanese billionaire has put a few of his two dozen Kahala properties up for sale, but recently announced plans to consolidate two of the lots and open a private museum to showcase his art collection.

“If the facility is a private, invitation-only museum,” Marumoto explained,“then there may not be a need for government action.

“However, Mr. Kawamoto has had a history of obtaining permits after-the-fact.”

She also charged that Kawamoto has allowed most of his homes to"become rundown and overgrown,” amassing more that 50 citations, and has demolished others. Complaints have ranged from rat infestations to overgrown yards and stagnant pools.

“It’s important to get input from the community on this so that district leaders and organizations can gather testimony for public hearings, should there be a request for a variance or other permits,” she noted.

Also participating in the meeting are City Councilman Stanley Chang, WaialaeKahala Neighborhood Board chairman Scotty Anderson, state Rep. Mark Hashem and state Sen. Sam Slom.

For more information, call 586-6310.

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