Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Public Comment Sought at Scoping Meeting July 8

The Air Force has issued a notice that it intends to dispose of the Fort Kamehameha Historic District at Hickam Air Force Base by the end of 2009.

The options for disposal include adaptive use, relocation and demolition. The Air Force is preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the project. The public is invited to a scoping meeting for the DEIS on Thursday, July 8, 2008, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Āliamanu Elementary School, 3265 Salt Lake Boulevard.

Fort Kamehameha was built in 1916 and originally consisted of both residential and non-residential sections. There are 33 homes in the Bungalow/Arts and Crafts style that are located on Hickam Air Force Base, adjacent to Pearl Harbor. The homes are in two styles, four in a large H shaped plan and 29 in a smaller U shaped footprint. Over time, the non-residential area was demolished and now only the Chapel, bandstand, original post flag pole and batteries remain from the non-residential area.

The official notice of the proposed undertaking notes that, “the handmade appearance of the homes in the shoreline setting manifests the rural lifestyle of the era. Some of the distinguishing features include: moss rock foundation walls and piers, board and batten siding, exposed eave rafters, …hip roofs that originally had wood shingles, diamond pattern muntins in the front center glass window, … and wood panel doors with brass hardware.”

The homes are located in an intact residential context with a graceful neighborhood feel of mature trees, large expanses of grass and open space, access to the waterfront, and a children’s playground. A burial vault houses iwi of kupuna who were disinterred during the construction of the nearby Pearl Harbor wastewater treatment plant. The vault is maintained and visited by Native Hawaiian Organizations with cultural and lineal ties to the area. The entire area is a high-sensitivity zone for probable additional native Hawaiian burials. The last of the residential occupants will vacate the homes by August.

The proposal to dispose of Fort Kamehameha is the result of an Air Force regulation that limits the uses that can occur along the flight path of runways at nearby Honolulu International Airport, which shares the runways with the Air Force and Hawai‘i Air National Guard. The Accident Potential Zone (APZ) regulates and restricts uses. At Fort Kamehameha, 29 houses and the chapel are located within APZ 1, which allows some structures, but not residential, office, commercial or other uses with regular occupancy. Uses such as parks or recreation are also restricted.

The Air Force is interested in finding a new tenant to use the buildings for storage or warehousing in place, subject to its security and access limitations, with maintenance and upkeep at the expense and the responsibility of the tenant. Alternatively, the Air Force will consider allowing the buildings to be relocated to another location or demolished. The DEIS will also include an alternative for long-term caretaker status of the buildings, preserving them in place without a user, to maintain options for the future.

For more information, contact Ms. Tiffany Patrick at 808-449-3197, or via mail to 15 CES/CEVP NEPA Program Technical Support, 75 H Street, ldg. 1202, Hickam AFB, HI 96853.