HAUULA, Hawaii (KHON2) — Tensions are growing between a landowner and the City. The owner of property in Hauula has multiple violations against him and now faces the possibility of losing the land.
The owner of roughly 13-acres in Hauula, Hopoate Taufa said, he is willing to work with the city to fix the violations against his land. He said he wants more time before a decision is made to seize his property.
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A Honolulu City Council resolution notes at least 10 violations for Taufa’s property. The violations include storing metal containers and construction vehicles without a permit and dumping construction material on wetlands inside his property.
Taufa does not deny the violations but said he is working towards fixing the issues.
Taufa said, “But now I told them I am going to comply, I am going to move everything out of here, so will keep the land as what it is supposed to be, so we won’t have an issue keep everybody happy.”
Members of the Hauula community came out to demonstrate in support of Taufa’s case.
Meanwhile, city councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi said the ongoing issues with the property pose a public hazard to the surrounding community.
She said the violations against the owner have not resulted in any solutions, therefore, taking over his land through judicial foreclosure is on the table.
“We at the city have supported those calls from the community for help in bringing corrective action to this property,” Tsuneyoshi said. “And the department of planning and permitting has worked for years to try to get this corrective action underway, and it is unfortunate that we haven’t had much feedback or much response from property owner until now.”
Taufa is asking the city for more time in order to start resolving the issues on his property before the city takes drastic steps.
“I’m asking for them one more chance because I just found out a month ago about the discussing of the eminent domain,” Taufa said. “The city council member didn’t reach out to me to come into the meeting to testify my side of the story, I wouldn’t have known about all of this.”
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The Honolulu City Council and Taufa will be discussing the future of his property on Wednesday.