Relief is in sight for frustrated neighbors of a home in Kaimuki.
The city says it is taking steps to finally clean a mess that’s plagued the community for years, including moving forward with foreclosure proceedings.
The city is also seeking a court order that would allow crews to enter the property and the Honolulu Fire Department has issued a fire code violation against the property owner.
We first reported this story back in 2012 and, even with numerous complaints, nothing was done.
A house on Second Avenue has been a source of frustration for many residents in the area.
Piles of trash have accumulated for at least three years. Those who drive by don’t even realize that there’s actually a house somewhere behind the mounds of trash.
The city council drafted a bill that passed in last December, which gives more leeway for the city to enter the property.
The court order would allow the city to clean only the mess outside the house, but neighbors say it would be a big step forward and want to see it happen soon.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction. Things move slowly but at least we’re moving forward. At least get the first few feet of it cleaned up,” said neighbor Felix Johnson.
It’s not just the looks and smell that bother the neighbors. They say the property also attracts homeless people who come regularly to pick through belongings.
“They go shopping basically,” said neighbor Jimmy Nozzolillo.
They’re worried about the rats and cockroaches that could be infesting the area, and many say they just don’t feel safe walking in the neighborhood.
“When I’m walking home, I would feel safer (if the area was cleaned up),” said neighbor Jade Richmond.
Part of the problem was that the city could not locate the woman who owns the house. Neighbors reported seeing her from time to time, but city officials were never able to talk to her.
We’ve learned she has racked up more than $195,000 in fines from the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting. So, the city told us, it is now moving forward with foreclosure proceedings against her.
The city is also asking neighbors to notify the department when the owner is on property so it can inform her of the foreclosure.
The city also tells us that it is already checking with cleanup companies to get bids.
“How much of a difference do you think that will make for the people around here?” KHON2 asked.
“I think they’ll really appreciate it. People take pride in their community and how it looks, and it’s been kind of a nuisance for the neighbors for a while now,” said Johnson.
The city has yet to provide a timeline for when any cleanup could occur.