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Oʻahu Historic Preservation Commission reestablished with unanimous support

Sandee Oshiro

The Oʻahu Historic Preservation Commission will finally become active 30 years after it became law.

The commission will have similar powers to preserve historic properties, but its responsibilities will differ from other jurisdictions, including the State Historic Preservation Division.

The commission will have nine members with each specializing in architecture, history, archaeology, planning, architectural history, Hawaiian culture, anthropology, ethnography and sociology.

The Honolulu City Council unanimously approved Bill 44, updating the current ordinance on the commission. Councilmember Esther Kiaʻāina introduced the bill with Chair Tommy Waters.

"One thing that makes Hawaiʻi so special in this world is our cultural and historic resources. And that is inclusive not only of our native Hawaiian culture, but all of the other cultures that have come to call Hawaiʻi home," Kiaʻāina said.

The commission's duties include public advocacy and assisting with planning and design to conserve historic places. They will advise the State Historic Preservation Division on nominations of historic properties.

The commission will also make a public Oʻahu historic property system.

"And I think that we should endeavor to do everything possible to make sure that those resources are not just protected and preserved, but available for future generations," Kiaʻāina said.

The bill now goes to Mayor Rick Blangiardi.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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