HONOLULU (KHON2) — A battle is brewing between Ewa Beach residents and Hawaiian Electric (HECO), along with developer D.R. Horton. Residents of the Hoopili subdivision said HECO and the developer are not following through on their obligation to put power lines underground.

D.R. Horton plans to build up to 12,000 homes in Hoopili. Many of those living there now have said they were told that power lines would be built underground.

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“It was kind of part of the sell, beautiful vista and now last minute they’re singing a different tune, claiming that they need to put these massive industrial poles right through our community,” said resident Kaniela Ing.

Residents have said the power line pole will be 65 feet high, which is about twice the height of the light posts.

Ing said about 500 residents have already signed a petition calling for the power lines to be buried. They stated having them above ground is not only unsightly, but it also brings the value of the property down.

“Look at or out by Ko Olina, they have underground power lines,” said Ing. “So why do we deserve less as residents than tourists do? So that is the broader issue here. We pay more for our homes.”

HECO said the cost to put the power lines overhead is $6.7 million. Underground, it will cost $25 million.

In a statement, a spokesman said, “we followed the regulatory process. Under state law, the Public Utilities Commission determines whether higher-voltage transmission lines shall be built above or below ground.”

D.R. Horton sent a statement that stated:

“D.R. Horton remains focused on finding solutions to address Hawaii’s housing shortage and keep homes as affordable as possible. Overhead line extensions for the Project were determined to be the most prudent option to achieve this goal.”

The PUC held a public hearing and said no one opposed HECO’s proposal to put the lines above ground.

PUC added that a consumer advocate for the state recommended putting the lines overhead because no other party was willing to pay for the additional cost.

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Late Thursday afternoon, HECO said that they have temporarily paused construction to work with the developer to address community concerns. Residents plan to meet with HECO and D.R. Horton on Monday.