Save Shark’s Cove Meeting

“I hate malls,” Honu Group President Tom Applegate declared at a North Shore Neighborhood Board meeting at Haleiwa Ali’i Beach on Tuesday night. This was a common sentiment in the crowd, but a dubious claim from the developer who is proposing a 75,000 square-foot shopping mall with a 220-stall underground (read: lava tube) parking lot at Shark’s Cove on the North Shore. More than {{{300}}} residents—amongst them Megan Abubo, Jack Johnson, the Florence brothers, Liam McNamara, Kala Alexander, Eddie Rothman, and Chris Malloy—showed up to protest the project.

Applegate explained that the “Pupukea Village” will be comprised of three one-story and two two-story, plantation-style buildings connected by covered walkways. The plans are compliant with the city’s zoning laws, he reminded everyone, and the mall would bring more jobs and services to the isolated North Shore. The project would also include the widening of Kamehameha Highway to three lanes to prevent bottlenecking.

Cora Sanchez, spokesperson for the Friends of Shark’s Cove, a reincarnation of the Save Sunset Beach Coalition (which fought for the Audubon’s management of Waimea Valley and against the gated community at Velzyland), presented the opposing arguments after a brief video that illustrated the precious resources at stake. Sanchez underscored the fact that the zoning laws allow for a rural community center tailored to meet the needs of local residents, not likely the intent of the Honu Group—the same developer who built an upscale, touristy mall in Waikiki. According to Sanchez, the 1,014 restaurant seats designated in the group’s environmental assessment (EA) are more than all the restaurant seats in Haleiwa combined.

The Friends of Shark’s Cove feel that it takes more than a handful of monkeypod trees to keep the country country. Neighbors scoffed at the notion that the mall would not cause increased noise, congestion, crime, and pollution. Their greatest concern is the environmental impact that the wastewater, stormwater runoff, and additional infrastructure and people will have on the Pupukea Marine Life District that the mall will front.