Relief For ‘Great Lawn’ Reversal, But Stay Alert

Rep. Gene Ward

(On the withdrawal of Kamehameha Schools’ development plans for Hawaii Kai’s “Great Lawn”)

This has been a long battle between the people of Hawaii Kai and the biggest private trust in the United States. But it is over for now.

I am grateful to residents who came to the defense of the aesthetics, traffic congestion and wise land-use planning of their community. A shopping mall on the Great Lawn would have been the end of our community as we know it. Thank you, people of Hawaii Kai!

Secondly, I’m thankful to Kamehameha Schools for seeing, and finally believing, the handwriting on the wall through our past polls and the 300-plus people who came out to our town hall meeting to protest the proposed development with Foodland. Thank you, KS/BE, but let’s make the “suspension” of your shopping mall plans permanent; we’re still suspicious when we’re suspended.

Lastly, I’m thankful to Foodland and the great Sully Sullivan’s tradition of being a part of our community and never wanting to do something not in the community’s best interest. This year is its 65th anniversary since opening its first store in Market City, and its behavior in this matter will continue to bless it throughout Hawaii. Thank you, Foodland, for living up to all that Sully stood for in his original plans to be “community-focused and put customers first.”

My office will continue to monitor any development plans for the Great Lawn as I have done for the Ka Iwi coast since cabins were proposed for development there a few years ago.

Contact state Rep. Gene Ward, R-17 (Kalama Valley to Hawaii Kai) at 586-6420 or at