Below are a list of projects that we are reviewing and providing comment on as a Board:

LYCA – Mānoa Banyan Court

Resolution Supporting Mānoa’s Request for An Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Manoa Banyan Court 

by Mālama Mānoa

January 17, 2023

WHEREAS, Mālama Mānoa is a non-profit with a mission to “promote community; celebrate our cultural diversity and heritage; and preserve, protect, and enhance the special qualities of historic Mānoa Valley;” and

WHEREAS, the Mānoa Chinese Cemetery (“cemetery”) was established in 1851, and is owned and managed by the Lin Yee Chung Association (LYCA); and

WHEREAS, at the February 2, 2022 Mānoa Neighborhood Board No. 7 meeting, LYCA presented a proposed development on cemetery property entitled Mānoa Banyan Court (“MBC”), consisting of, among other things, four (4) residential courtyard buildings, each three (3) stories tall with 72 dwelling units, creating a total complex of 288 dwelling units available for rent for those meeting certain age and income restrictions; and

WHEREAS, LYCA proposed building the MBC’s medium-density residential buildings on land currently zoned Preservation (P-2) and currently covered with vegetation and large trees and a few small structures by obtaining exemptions to existing zoning through Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 201H-38; and

WHEREAS, on April 30, 2022, Mālama Mānoa, along with The Outdoor Circle – Mānoa and Council Member Calvin Say, sponsored a Town Hall Meeting (“Town Hall”) at Mānoa Valley District Park to allow Mānoa residents to express their views of the proposed MBC; and 

WHEREAS, at the Town Hall, twenty-seven residents expressed opposition to MBC, one resident spoke in favor of it, and two residents expressed neutral views; and

WHEREAS, attendees of the Town Hall also expressed concerns about the MBC through hand-written cards, on the following topics: (1) the density of the MBC and its fit with character of Mānoa; (2) the use of preservation land for the project; (3) the risks of floods, light pollution, and noise pollution resulting from the project; (4) the project’s impact on traffic and parking within Mānoa; (5) the project’s impact on Mānoa’s aging infrastructure, and (6) the alternatives to developing the affordable housing project that would allow LYCA to preserve the historic Mānoa Chinese Cemetery; and 

WHEREAS, in September 2022, the Mānoa Neighborhood Board No. 7 passed a “Resolution Opposing the Manoa Banyan Court Project as Proposed,” citing opposition to the MBC expressed by the community through (1) oral testimony opposing the MBC at the February 2, 2022, March 2, 2022, and April 6, 2022 regular board meetings; (2) written testimony provided to the Board; (3) a petition opposing the MBC that had gathered 3,155 signatures, and; (4) testimony opposing the MBC at the Town Hall; and

WHEREAS, LYCA submitted in November 2022 a Draft Environmental Assessment (“DEA”) for MBC to the City and County of Honolulu Department of Permitting and Planning (“DPP”) with an anticipated determination of Finding of No Significant Impact (“FONSI”), which was accepted by DPP and published for public review on December 23, 2022 by State of Hawaii’s Environmental Review Program; and

WHEREAS, on January 4, 2023, the Mānoa Neighborhood Board No. 7 passed a “Resolution Opposing Manoa Banyan Court Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) as Insufficient Modification to Adequately Mitigate Detrimental Impacts to the Manoa Community,” which cited community opposition and concerns about the MBC, set forth the legal framework for a determination by DPP that an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) should be completed, identified four areas of concerns expressed by the community that correlate to “significance criteria” set forth in HAR § 11-200.1-13 that should be used by DPP when evaluating the proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (“FONSI”) in the DEA, and resolved that: “Manoa Neighborhood Board No. 7 urges DPP to reject the finding of ‘FONSI’ proposed by the DEA and to require LYCA to prepare and submit an Environmental Impact Statement”; and

WHEREAS, based upon community input and its own analysis, Mālama Mānoa has concerns about the MBC that relate to the following significance criteria: 

Significance Criteria Citation


HAR § 11-200.1-13(b)(1)

Irrevocably commit a natural, cultural, or historic resource.

HAR § 11-200.1-13(b)(3)

Conflict with the State’s environmental policies or long-term environmental goals established by law.

HAR § 11-200.1-13(b)(6)

Involve adverse secondary impacts, such as…effects on public facilities.

HAR § 11-200.1-13(b)(7)

Involve a substantial degradation of environmental quality.

HAR § 11-200.1-13(b)(8)

Be individually limited but cumulatively have substantial adverse effect upon the environment[.]

HAR § 11-200.1-13(b)(10)

Have a substantial adverse effect on air or water quality or ambient noise levels.

HAR § 11-200.1-13(b)(11)

Have a substantial adverse effect on or be likely to suffer damage by being located in an environmentally sensitive area such as a flood Plain[.]


WHEREAS, should LYCA be required to prepare and submit to DPP an EIS, the Mānoa community will have further information to evaluate these significant impacts and obtain protection from them, and THEREFORE:

BE IT RESOLVED that Mālama Mānoa urges DPP to reject the finding of “FONSI” proposed by the DEA and to require LYCA to prepare and submit an Environmental Impact Statement; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Director and Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Permitting for the City and County of Honolulu, the Executive Director and Deputy Director of Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation for the State of Hawaii, the Governor of the State of Hawaii, each member of the Hawaii State Legislature, the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, each Councilmember of the City and County of Honolulu, Lin Yee Chung Association, and Ernest Martin of Lee & Martin LLLP.

Linda Legrande, President Malama Manoa

P.O. Box 283046

Honolulu, HI. 96828

808) 384-0450

This Resolution was APPROVED by the Board of Malama Manoa at its January 11, 2023, regular meeting.