Cleanup completed on derelict property after unexpected discovery

Local News

After decades of complaints, a derelict home in Makiki has undergone a major transformation.

The city hired Oahu Junk Removal to clean up the property on Pensacola Street with a $13,120 bid, and the company got to work on Monday, July 23.

Oahu Junk Removal was authorized to remove and dispose of trash, derelict vehicles, overgrowth, and exterminate rats, cockroaches, and other vermin on the property. 

The work was expected to take five days to complete, but the company says it encountered worse conditions than anticipated. For example, crews believed three old vehicles were to be removed from the site, but during the cleanup, they discovered a fourth rusted vehicle buried under junk, tangled in vines and tree branches.

In all, Oahu Junk Removal spent nine days collecting and disposing 45 tons of debris and waste from the home. Twenty-eight truckloads were taken to the city’s H-Power facility, Island Demo, and Kapaa Transfer Station. The cars were taken to Schnitzer Steel.

“It’s very difficult to get up to this point, because like I said, the homeowner does have a right to due process, and we have to follow laws and all that, so it took a while to get to this point, but we’re happy we finally got to this point,” said Wallace Carvalho, program administrator with the city Department of Planning and Permitting.

On July 5, a Circuit Court judge granted the city’s motion for a summary judgment, authorizing the city and its agent or contractors to enter the property and remove the litter, which the judge determined was unsafe and a public nuisance.

The court order also stated that cleanup costs should be at the expense of homeowner Rollin Yee. The city’s next step will be to file a motion with the court to require Yee to reimburse the city.

The Department of Planning and Permitting had issued notices of violation and two notices of order, with unpaid fines totaling $363,650 as of July 18.

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