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Even if there are large fines, it doesn’t stop egregious violators from flouting environmental laws

Even if there are large fines, it doesn’t stop egregious violators from flouting environmental laws

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow), – Officials claim that a Windward Oahu building company is violating environmental and zoning laws.

The city has not been able stop the company despite paying steep fines.

Dawn Takeuchi Apuna is the deputy director of the city Department of Planning and Permitting. It’s extreme in that it doesn’t allow us to deal with someone who completely ignores our issuances of violations.

The base yard for Iosepa Electric & General Contracting is located at 54-406 Kamehameha Highway, on 13 acres. It’s also a protected area that is zoned for agriculture and not commercial use.

Neighbors blame illegal stockpiling and grading on the property, for flooding homes along the highway last year’s heavy rains.

Dotty Kelley-Paddock, a member Koolauloa Neighborhood Board said that the illegal dump is a man-made disaster in our community and for our aina.

The city has placed liens against the property, issued fines totaling over $300,000. They also sent police officers to enforce stop work orders.

Takeuchi Apuna stated that the HPD should immediately stop working and leave.

Esther Kiaina, Councilmember added: I am in shock… about the inability of holding the landowner in compliance. She said.

Heidi Tsuneyoshi (City Councilmember) introduced a resolution calling on the City Council to take more enforcement action against this owner. The resolution was passed by the Council Zoning and Planning Committee last week.

It’s amazing that this person can think he can do these things in plain view of the community, and still be from the community.

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The city is to blame for the mess, however, the owner claims. He claimed that storm drains were built uphill on his property years ago, which altered the flow of water during heavy rainfalls.

Hawaii News Now also heard from owner Hoapate Taufa on Tuesday that he intended to comply, but that he is being targeted by the city for not granting his permit request.

The city calls for a criminal investigation. It also wants the authority to be empowered to seize property from owners who ignore the rules.

This is a good example of why we need to have a bit more teeth in our laws so that we can go after those who are completely ignoring and basically flipping it as we try to enforce the law,” said Dean Uchida the director of DPPs.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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