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Hawaii News

Holes in the system

  • KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COM
    The city last week cited the owner of this structure in Kunia Loa Ridge Farmlands for operating a Buddhist temple — an unpermitted use — on agriculture land. The city issued the citation after the Honolulu Star-Advertiser inquired why a temple was allowed to operate on land zoned Agriculture 1.
  • KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COM
    With small lots, buildings can be clustered closer together, and if the structures are smaller than 1,000 square feet and are considered ag structures, they escape the normal building permit requirements. Below right, construction is underway on a lot fenced off from another one with its own structure.
  • KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COM
  • KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Although the ag zoning for Kunia Loa prohibits lot sizes less than 5 acres, that restriction doesn’t apply because the city says the development was approved by the state as a condominium property regime. If it had gone through the typical county subdivision process, the minimum would have applied. Conse­quently, lots as small as 1 acre can be found there.
  • KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Though many house-like structures have been built at Kunia Loa, no one has been cited for an illegal dwelling. This structure still has Christmas lights up near a picture window. Some of the buildings have generators or solar panels.
  • KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COM
    The operator of the Buddhist temple in Kunia Loa didn’t hide the fact that it was there. A sign on the structure identified it in Vietnamese as Thanh Nguyen Temple. Other signs, like the one below, were placed at the Kunia Loa entrance and along the interior roads directing people to the facility.

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