Kahuku

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Kahuku, a working sugar plantation town from 1890 to 1971, is located near the northern tip of the island of Oahu, around the bend from the famed 'North Shore'. Malaekahana Bay lies just south of Kahuku proper, while the aquaculture prawn ponds lie to the north. Turtle Bay Resort is not too far down Kamehameha Highway from the ponds. The former sugar mill is now a shopping center with a post office, bank, popular restaurants, Kaiser Kahuku Clinic and other local businesses.

In a Honolulu Advertiser article dated 1-9-06 and entitled, In Kahuku, residents fear sale of estate land:

Holding signs and waving flags, residents of the plantation homes of Kahuku rallied along a two-lane stretch of Kamehameha Highway this past weekend.

Last summer the Campbell Estate announced it would sell its last 2,000 acres in the area. And locals are concerned a sale could come soon as the estate prepares to dissolve at the end of 2006.

The land sits under the plantation-era homes of about 70 residents — many of whom are worried a new owner will evict them and develop the land.

More than 60 area residents rallied on Saturday morning along the highway to "Keep Kahuku Country."

[...]

Campbell Vice President Bert Hatton said the estate is not willing to subdivide into house-sized plots. Such subdividing would require expensive sewer and flood prevention work.

Hatton said any buyer planning to do any development on the land would need to pay for those improvements. They would also need to consider the welfare of residents.

"In this town you tend not to get anything done unless you have the support of the community," he said.

The termination of the estate is also not a deadline for the sale, he said.

"There's no connection between the end of the estate and our sale of land," he said.

When talking about their fear that they might soon enough have nowhere to live, residents point to nearby Velzeyland, where rental units were leveled to build an expensive subdivision.

Since Kahuku Sugar closed in 1972, about 100 of the former sugar company houses have been sold to residents. The city owns land under 177 homes that it can't sell until the completion of sewer and flood work.

Residents of the plantation homes pay their $250 to $850 in monthly rent to the nonprofit Kahuku Village Association, and often work several jobs and live with multiple generations of their families. [1]

Richard Borreca reports in a May 30, 2006, Star-Bulletin article entitled, Plan would save Kahuku houses, that a Florida developer has put forth a plan to save plantation-era homes and also build 20 luxury homes:

The proposal Hannemann offered was brought to him by Continental Pacific LLC, a Florida-based firm that, according to its Web site, buys and sells large properties of valuable land.

"Continental Pacific's core business is to focus on purchasing large land tracts, ranging in size from thousands of acres to several hundred thousand acres, and reselling those tracts as smaller parcels," according to the Web site www.cplandco.com.

Eric Morrison is manager of the firm's Kahuku project and had worked with the company's Big Island holdings.

Under the plan, Continental Pacific would buy the land and sell the existing land and homes to the tenants for $75,000 each, give the golf course to the Kahuku Village Association or the Kahuku Community Association, provide access to the beach and then get zoning for at least 18 oceanfront and near-oceanfront luxury homes.

Others, including Kahuku resident and developer Joe Pickard, said the plan was a poor one, and urged the residents to reject it.

Hannemann, who has been supported by Pickard in his political campaigns, said Pickard had come to him earlier with a possible developer but never continued the discussions. Hannemann said he was willing to consider other proposals.

Margaret Primacio, Kahuku Villages Association vice president, urged Hannemann to find someone to buy the Campbell land "who will stay true to what most of us want, which is to stay in our homes and preserve the area and the open space for everyone."

Association members said they will discuss the new proposal but would not be able to come to a decision for at least two weeks.

External Links

  • Kahuku airs out new skateboard park -- Skate enthusiasts are pleased with the layout, an effort of state and local groups By Sally Apgar (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 3-30-03)
  • Kahuku prides itselfon spirit and support -- The passion from students for their school keeps them coming back for more By Hapaki Kaululaau (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 11-15-04)
  • Kahuku teacher wins $10,000 Wal-Mart grant -- Susan Luehrs is chosen as Teacher of the Year for the state By Pat Gee (Honlulu Star-Bulletin, 1-11-05)
  • REFUGE: Hidden among the Kahuku shrimp farms is a birder's haven of rare local species By Diana Leone (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 10-16-05)
  • Land swap plan could aid Kahuku High School -- Flood mitigation and campus expansion are among DOE goals By Dan Martin (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 11-24-05)
  • In Kahuku, residents fear sale of estate land (Honolulu Advertiser, 1-9-06)
  • Kua, Crystal. Council hears Kahuku land grievances Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 11, 2006.
  • Kua, Crystal. Mayor joins in Kahuku planning -- Campbell Estate seeks to sell 2,000 acres that includes affordable housing Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 11, 2006.
  • Ako, Buddy. Keeping Kahuku country has different meanings Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 14, 2006.
  • Kua, Crystal. Council backs Kahuku residents -- Resolutions address fears of eviction when Campbell Estate sells its North Shore land Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 18, 2006.
  • Borreca, Richard. Plan would save Kahuku houses -- The proposal from a Florida firm also seeks to build at least 20 luxury homes Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 30, 2006.
  • More at stake than tenants' homes in Kahuku land sale THE ISSUE: Mayor Hannemann is advocating a company's plan that would allow Kahuku village residents to buy their homes. Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 1, 2006.
  • Kua, Crystal. Kahuku land to be sold to developer -- Tenants are told they will be able to buy their homes Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 15, 2006.
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