Lagoon to replace plans for marina; residents file class action lawsuit
Promises allegedly weren't kept and a class action lawsuit has been filed.
Residents in Hoakalei, a subdivision in Ewa Beach, say they purchased homes for tens of thousands of dollars more than comparable properties just a block away for one reason -- an exclusive marina.
But the developer, Haseko, changed those plans in 2011 and chose to create a lagoon instead.
"We felt betrayed, it was our first home, we felt lied to, deceived," says Matthew Lopresti, a Hoakalei resident.
Lopresti bought his home with his family for about $426,000 three years ago. He was drawn to Hoakalei because it was supposed to boast the largest marina in the state.
"If at the end they (Haseko) can change those plans to better suit their bottom line, somebody has to stand up and say enough is enough," says Lopresti.
Lopresti and other residents are afraid the changes will lower the value of their homes. They're tired of paying monthly maintenance fees for the lagoon and say when it opens to the public, they'll still be the ones paying for upkeep and increased traffic. But not all residents are on board with the lawsuit.
"This for the community is going to be a wonderful thing. It doesn't upset me at all that the community is going to be here, I think it should be for the community," says Marsha Otani, a Hoakalei resident.
Some residents say they love living in Hoakalei and praise Haseko's plans, saying it's safer than having boat traffic in the water. But others bought in mainly for their boating lifestyle.
Attorney Michael Green says that selling point should have been delivered.
"I've never gone down in a community and seen some guy sitting in his front lawn in his boat because that's as close as he's getting to the water, is his front yard," says Green.
A community meeting will be held July 20 to address any questions about this lawsuit. It starts at 1 p.m. at Ilima Intermediate school in Ewa Beach.
KITV4 attempted to contact Haseko, but we're told that the developer cannot comment on the situation because it has yet be served the lawsuit.
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