The landowner of a 50-acre parcel in Nanakuli targeted for expansion of the island’s only construction and debris landfill is suing the city over the Hannemann administration’s plan to use the land for a regional park.
Leeward Land Co. alleges the city violated city ordinances by designating the land for park use with no alternative identified for expansion of the PVT Land Co. landfill, which is expected to reach its capacity in six to 10 years.
"It looks pretty plain to us that the mayor is not so much interested in getting a new park as he is shutting down the landfill," said Bruce Lamon, attorney for Leeward Land, a sister company of PVT.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann called the allegations "absurd," noting that the land is zoned for agricultural use and would have to go through the rezoning process to be used as an expansion site for PVT.
"This is a situation where they want to keep all their options open," Hannemann said. "The community has made it very clear that they do not want a new landfill in this area, and my administration has taken the position that there should be no new landfill on the Leeward Coast."
The 50-acre site is part of a larger property owned by Leeward Land across Lualualei Naval Road from PVT. The company had planned to phase in the expansion over the next several years as the PVT site reached capacity.
Hannemann announced plans for the regional park in his State of the City address in February.
Leeward’s complaint contends the park designation is illegal because it is contrary to the Waianae Sustainable Communities Plan and other applicable city plans. But the City Council last month approved changing the public infrastructure map for the Waianae Sustainable Communities Plan to allow for the park.
Council members initially rejected the plan, but changed their minds after hearing from numerous Waianae community members who turned out in support of the regional park.
"This community has said they want a regional park," Hannemann said. "This didn’t come from the mayor’s office."
Hannemann said the city is conducting a study to identify by August 2011 potential new sites for both a construction and debris landfill and a new municipal solid-waste landfill.
Leeward’s complaint also argues the city’s plan to fund the acquisition with a $3 million appropriation from the Clean Water and Natural Lands Fund violates the city’s revised charter, which states that money from the fund must be used for land conservation and preservation and not infrastructure projects.
Lamon said the city officials had no interest when the company proposed phasing in a new park at the PVT site while the expansion takes place across the street.
Leeward Land estimates the land would be worth $100 million as a landfill, a claim Hannemann called "ridiculous," noting the zoning would have to change to improve the value of the land.