(HONOLULU) – A corporation that owns property at 4623 Kahala Avenue faces fines of  thousands of dollars, after inspectors from the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) and the DLNR Land Division and Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) found numerous violations of state and county shoreline laws.


The agencies responded to complaints that portions of the property had eroded and unauthorized structures and material were encroaching onto the beach. Based on jurisdictional questions of the location of the structures on private versus public land, the city and state performed the joint investigation.


The inspection showed that a fence, as well as alleged unauthorized erosion control devices and materials that used to be on the edge of the property, had collapsed into the ocean.

The DLNR has sent state Conservation District enforcement-related notices and letters to the landowner, Asagami Corporation, chaired by Tomomi Kimura, dating back to August 2005.


The June 7 DLNR notice of alleged violation noted, “It also appears modifications have been made to the fence, with wooden posts and metal wiring added. Further, it appears the collapsed fence and modifications are being utilized as a component in an alleged unauthorized erosion control device, or structure that includes sandbags and other material in the Conservation District.”


Under state law it is illegal to obstruct access to public property and beach transit corridor, which is the shoreline.


Shoreline erosion control is a regulated land use, and the DLNR has issued the landowner several notices and letters regarding the alleged unauthorized erosion control devices in the shoreline area fronting the subject property and encroachments in the beach transit corridor.


DLNR recommends the landowner remove the erosion control structures, unauthorized materials and encroachments within the shoreline area, with 21 days. If there is no compliance, the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) could bring actions to remove or remedy the encroachments.


For encroachment and unauthorized structures violations on public lands, any person causing an encroachment could be fined as much as $1,000 each day for the first offense, and $1,000 – $4,000 per day for two or more offenses.


For alleged unauthorized land use(s) in a State Conservation District the BLNR could fine the owner $15,000 for each violation, in addition to administrative costs, costs of land or habitat restoration or both. Fines of $15,000 per day could be imposed by the BLNR for each day the violation persists.


Additionally, obstructing access to public property is a potential misdemeanor, and failure to remove structures within 21 days, could subject the owner to fines of a minimum of $1,000 for a second conviction, and a minimum of $2,000 for any conviction after a second conviction.


DLNR Chair Dawn Chang said, “We appreciate the collaborative spirit in which the City and County of Honolulu addressed this issue with us. It involved some complex jurisdictional considerations and having a joint site visit with the C&C resulted in both state and county actions. Our hope is this all leads to the restoration of the shoreline at this location very soon.”


On June 7, DPP issued a notice of violation (NOV) to the Asagami Corp. and its chairman for unauthorized structures in the shoreline setback and the special management area. The violation cited illegal geotextile fabric and a chain-link fence in the setback area. A cable fence, which had been permitted in 1992 but is now in the setback because of erosion, was also deemed unauthorized.


The NOV orders the owner to remove all items by August 7 or face an initial fine of up to $100,000 and daily fines of up to $10,000 until the violations are corrected. “The concerted efforts of DLNR and DPP to investigate the complicated issues of this property and combined enforcement results in better protection of the shoreline. We look forward to this continued collaboration,” said DPP Director Dawn Takeuchi Apuna.

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