Call for action in Aina Haina community

By Paul Drewes
Published On: Apr 09 2013 10:33:00 PM HST

A stalled development project in East Oahu has some in the community concerned, but many are more upset over the way government departments are going about their business.

HONOLULU -

A stalled development project, in East Oahu, has some in the community concerned, but more are upset over the way government departments are going about their business.

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of residents came to find out the latest with a planned multi-home development at the end of Hao Street.

The project that has been put on hold until an archeological inventory survey is done.

Since the start, residents have not only been battling the developer of the project, but also the city.

"We've had difficulty. The city department of planning and permitting by law is obligated to disclose project information. Instead they've given excuse after excuse," said Wayson Chow, with the Aina Haina Community Association.

Aina Haina residents fear the development will block access to the Wailupe Valley trail, and are upset they are being blocked from fact-finding during this process.

"What is the sense of the public records disclosure law, if you can't find out if a developer or someone is building illegally," said Chow.

Neighbors voiced concerns the homes will be built on unstable land in an area where past landslides have occurred. Others worry their concerns will be buried under a mountain of government red tape. After all, they have been fighting for this land for years.

"We're just frustrated because we did all the work. The mayor, City Council members all said they were going to put it under preservation," said Aina Haina resident Meymo Rego.

Tuesday night's informational meeting was also a call to action, to motivate residents to change the way things are done.

"Talk with representatives and legislators, write letters to the newspaper. We've been doing this for decades and sometimes it works, but too often it doesn't," said Aina Haina resident Swift David.

This time, residents will also take their petition to the streets. An effort to mobilize more residents to see if their community can really make a difference in the development process.

Their action plan will also be taken into other communities, where there is frustration over government agencies.  An effort to get different communities to join together to change how projects are handled in the future.

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