Think About It: Tall Tales - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

June 12, 2017

Think About It: Tall Tales

The state of Hawaii showed off plans a couple of weeks agofor a so-called "vertical" school in Kakaako. The plan makes a lot of sense,and it should encourage more thinking of this nature- we have limited andexpensive construction space in Hawaii, and thus one way to make the best useof our tight quarters is to build up as opposed to out, when feasible. Thisconcept should have been used for the past 30-years in various places.

So let's go with this concept- instead of constantly makingexceptions and variances to rules about height limits, why not simply raise themaximum ceiling allowed in various places? The same concept that says avertical school is a better use of area than a sprawling school is in tightquarters might be applied to the plethora of condos we now see going upthroughout Kakaako. What if the laws were in place five or even 20 years ago toallow for 65 story buildings- could we have possibly seen 30% or 40% fewer buildingsgoing up?

Early on, city planners apparently wanted to make sure thatDiamondhead was never obscured by buildings, so height limits were set at orbelow half the height of that natural monument- which is about 760 feet at itssummit. But with buildings nowadays being add within blocks of each other allover Kakaako, I guess blocking out the natural beauty and majesty ofDiamondhead is a non-issue. So how about now raising our in-town height limits,add more affordable housing, and reduce the number of new buildings? That mightwork well, alongside a singular vertical school? Think about it…

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