Construction on a nine-and-a-half acre piece of land was abruptly stopped, after city officials late Tuesday afternoon temporarily suspended developer Jeff Stone's building permits.
"The purpose of suspension is to have more breathing room," said George Atta of the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Planning and Permitting.
Some community members believe Stone is building on top of an historic site on Hao Street near the Wailupe Loop Trail that they say contains sacred altars called Ahu.
"We were on site with two licensed archaeologists who confirmed the site is of real nature and it's not just a push pile of rocks," said Danny Loui.
"Once we have a more definitive decision on what the cultural site is, we'll work with the community in regard to the protection of native Hawaiian sites," said Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamana'opono Crabbe.
Stone has the necessary city permits to build two houses on his land.
The State Historic Preservation Division has no authority to stop construction, but recommended an archaeological inventory survey be completed, which could cost close to $100,000 according to the Department of Permitting and Planning.
"We are happy our voices are being heard. It's been a long process of not getting any attention to the matter," said Loui.
If SHPD and Stone cannot come to an agreement, the city will have to either end the suspension or revoke the existing permit.