The military’s “anti-terrorist fence” is too tall and too close to their homes

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The military has marching orders to erect a barbed wire fence about 3 miles long, 7 feet high around the Marine Corps Training Area Bellows in Waimanalo.

Federal regulations require an “anti-terrorist” fence around the practice area.

But local residents are not happy about it.

“They actually drilled holes across the property onto our property and I came out and they’ve been bringing them back ever since,” said Jeremy Rich of Keolu Hills.

He says the fence is too close to his property.

“I was a little upset. I’ve heard it should be 30 feet from the property line, but there are many instances where that doesn’t seem to be the case,” Rich said.

Lois Hewlett met with fellow neighbors Thursday, who are calling it an eyesore.

“I’m appalled. I want to know why that fence is up there,” she said.

State Rep. Lisa Marten says the Marines told her the fence would be kept away from the ridge overlooking the neighborhood.

“You misinformed me. They gave me information and they did something else and I said hey please don’t do that again. Before you make any changes, please let me know, and they didn’t,” Marten said.

“It’s like Red Hill and I’m so disappointed,” she added.

In a statement, the Marine Corps said it was trying to be transparent.

“Before construction of the Marine Corps Training Area Perimeter Fence project began, the staff and personnel at Marine Corps Base Hawaii worked hard to ensure elected officials, residents and adjacent landowners communicated openly and accurately information about the fence and its intended location.” said 1st Lt. Mark McDonough, Communication Strategy and Operations, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in a statement.

“The 30-foot setback is intended to give MCBH personnel room to maintain the fence over time. This setback will be implemented along the entire fence, except in places where typography and other factors don’t allow it,” he added.

The military says it has dealt with trespassing, poaching and illegal dumping, and that the fence is entirely on federal property. The project is expected to be completed by April next year.

The military briefed the Kailua Neighborhood Board at the fence in Kailua District Park Thursday night.

Comments are closed.