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Thursday, April 28, 2022
HB1434 'Dangerous' -- Eminent Domain Property Seizures
By Selected News Articles @ 8:21 PM :: 2882 Views :: Honolulu County, Agriculture, Land Use


Aloha Senate President Kouchi and State Speaker Saiki, & Hawaii Legislators, 2022 Legislative Session,   April 27, 2022

2022 has been a whirlwind of legislation. The entire State of Hawaii is just beginning to get adjusted to the last two years of COVID19 upheaval and adjustment in all different levels of society.

HB 1434 is premature and too dangerous to pass this legislative year. There are many unanswered questions. Fundamentally, it egregiously lacks public engagement, and in providing an open and transparent government. It’s one of the best-kept secrets this session.

To adopt such a groundbreaking and severe legislative decision WITHOUT each legislator warning or educating or engaging with his/her affected residents is malfeasance and sorely lacking in representation. This is not just some budget or public work or social support issue, this is about the quick taking of private property by the government who already has immense powers.

The two case-in-point used in written testimonies to the State Legislature are not entirely accurate. Even if they are accurate, such public policy cannot be taken lightly or without significant research on the facts and findings from various and different sources, especially the most affected parties.

Regarding the cited Hauula case of which we’re very familiar with. We’re not saying that the family does not have violations to correct. They have submitted building applications to DPP which takes time, even before COVID 19. The long process compounded their daily fines. Some violations were incorrect because there is a difference between Agriculture-zone and residential-zone properties.

City Council District 2 Heidi Tsuneyoshi pushed through Resolution 22-11 to enforce “Eminent Domain” in 25 working days! This family was used as a scapegoat.

She did not even reach out to her constituent who is an immigrant family from the Kingdom of Tonga. There are many extenuating circumstances. The young wife was suffering from cancer relapses during the past few years and under hospice care recently. She died on April 2, 2022.

Overly ambitious Council member Heidi Tsuneyoshi accused the family of violations for the past 5 years when the family had only acquired their farm 2.5 years ago in November 2019. The family was also issued inaccurate violations but the fines tripled and compounded. DPP was also told not to give permits. How is a resident supposed to correct violations without obtaining a permit?

When a constituent is in trouble, we expect our city council members to reach out and lend a helping but rush to quickly slam them and seize their private property.

On the State level, adopting HB 1434 would be akin to simply throwing the baby out with the bath water with no thought of the unintended consequences or property rights. Why give immense blanket powers for a few “problematic” properties?

The Hawaii State Legislature cannot eliminate Due Process, Private Property Rights, and Equity and Fairness from our residents with this HB1434.

The handwriting is on the wall that HB 1434 will inevitably punish the unsophisticated residents and those without powers and connections to fight or fend for themselves. Legal fees are expensive.

Those who are affluent and connected will always find a way out.

There must be robust discussions on all fundamental facts, accuracy of information, and especially the unintended consequences that will inevitably occur should this bill is adopted.

It’s a known fact that most of our property owners work and sacrifice much to own a private property. Not many are born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

The OAHU Honolulu County (although NOTHING is heard from the other affected Hawaii counties of Maui, Kauai, Hawaii Island, Lanai, Moloka’i) apparently wants to bypass and circumvent constitutional due process of “eminent domain”.

It even wants to skip “Judicial Foreclosure” and hurry on to fast track the takings of private property through “NON-Judicial Foreclosure.

This is alarming! This agenda cannot be taken lightly. How many States are adopting this kind of powers?

The only fair and democratic and pono way is for all legislators to warn, educate, and engage with their constituents first prior to adoption of this HB 1343.

The public at large remains in the dark and are unaware of this severe and transformational legislation. This will come back and haunt the decision-makers in the near future.

There are also many unanswered questions as to the unconstitutional infringement on DUE PROCESS, PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS and FAIRNESS.

It also violates the Honolulu City Charter Purpose, principles, and intent to serve the people in the best way possible and in fair and equitable ways.

We sincerely ask you to REJECT HB 1434 this session. Engage, educate and warn the people in ALL COUNTIES first. That’s the only democratic route to take on this one. Restore Trust in Government.

Thank you. 

Choon James

HB1434: Text, Status


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