POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 24, 2013
~~<div>Question: What happened to the owner(s) of the lot at the corner of Ernest and Green streets, who are doing nothing about their property? It has been so many years since the house was demolished and so was the no-parking street sign and sidewalk. Today it is an eyesore. The weedy and unkempt lot is a fire hazard with dry grass/weeds and torn-up fencing. A resident was even observed using this area as an automotive repair shop. Twelve or more cars are parked on the unsurfaced, trashy area fronting the lot, often protruding into the street.</div>
Question: What happened to the owner(s) of the lot at the corner of Ernest and Green streets, who are doing nothing about their property? It has been so many years since the house was demolished and so was the no-parking street sign and sidewalk. Today it is an eyesore. The weedy and unkempt lot is a fire hazard with dry grass/weeds and torn-up fencing. A resident was even observed using this area as an automotive repair shop. Twelve or more cars are parked on the unsurfaced, trashy area fronting the lot, often protruding into the street. Answer: The city Department of Planning and Permitting says it has issued 10 “Notices of Violation” to the owner of the property, listed as 1427 Ernest Street LLC, since 2004. Three notices were for litter and overgrowth on the vacant lot, three for overgrowth on the sidewalk, three for concrete on the unimproved sidewalk and one for a makeshift driveway and concrete on the sidewalk, said DPP Deputy Director Art Challacombe. If, after receiving a notice of violation, the owner corrects the violation within the 30-day period allowed, no fine is issued. If not corrected, a “Notice of Order” is then issued, which then leads to a fine. Despite all the notices of violations, the owner so far has been fined only $250, which has been paid. There are no outstanding fines, Challacombe said. However, based on the current condition of the lot, the owner will be slapped with a cleanup charge and could face significantly higher fines. According to DPP’s records, in April 2012 DPP issued a notice of order and fined the owner $100 for overgrowth in the vacant lot. However, the fine was waived because the violation had been corrected before the notice was issued. On June 21, 2012, DPP issued a notice for order for overgrowth of weeds in the vacant lot. Because this was a recurring violation, an immediate $250 fine was issued. The fine was paid July 6, 2012. But on Aug. 7 a notice of violation was issued for overgrowth on the sidewalk. A follow-up inspection Sept. 3 showed little progress in removing the overgrowth, Challacombe said, so DPP sent a work order to the Department of Facility Maintenance on Sept. 4 to remove the overgrowth. The property owner will be billed for the work, he said. He explained that by ordinance, DPP cannot fine a property owner for overgrowth on a city sidewalk. He also noted the passage of Bill 3 this year, giving DPP the authority to issue a maximum $5,000 fine for recurring violations of overgrowth and litter on a vacant residential lot. Question: When is the work being done on Date Street between Kapiolani Boulevard and Olokele Street expected to be completed? Answer: The work along Date Street is part of the Moiliili-Kapahulu Sewer Rehabilitation/Reconstruction project that’s scheduled to be completed in December. That’s barring any problems or delays caused by bad weather or other factors. The project involves installing and rehabbing a new sewer line along Date, between Pumehana and Lukepane streets, with work generally taking place from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays. There will be “intermittent periods of work” lasting 24 hours or more, according to the Department of Environmental Services. The Date Street project is one of the city’s five sewer projects currently affecting roads and traffic. See is.gd/TzJA8l for the other projects. Mahalo To Alex of the Honolulu Fire Department. I was on my way to work at the airport last month and was on the airport offramp when my tire blew at about 6:30 a.m. Alex, in a white HFD car, stopped to help me. He wouldn’t let me buy him breakfast, so I just want to say how much I appreciated his assistance. — Cheryl
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