Kaneohe homeowners worry about Kawamoto trees

Alec Lambert
Alec Lambert
Anela Lee
Anela Lee

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - The towering tree behind Alec Lambert's home stands several stories tall.

He said it's impressive and alarming.

"If this thing comes down it'll be on the house," he said.

Lambert's one of dozens of Kaneohe homeowners on Iuiu Street who are fed up with Genshiro Kawamoto.

The Japanese billionaire owns the conservation land behind them where the monster monkey pods stand.

"He bought the property and he has to accept the maintenance of that property. Not us," Lambert said.

For years residents have begged Kawamoto to trim the trees.

"I'm afraid that one of the branches will fall and kill one of our kids," Anela Lee said.

"A lot of people just went in and cut. They didn't care," Lambert said. "It's a life or death situation."

Now there's a sliver of hope.

Lambert and thirteen other residents recently got a letter from Kawamoto's attorney, scheduling an inspection.

Wednesday, Kawamoto's lawyer, two workers from state civil defense, and a state Dept. of Land and Natural Resources representative took pictures and notes at several homes.

But Kawamoto's lawyer made no promises.

"They were more concerned about the boundary between us and Kawamoto," Lambert said.

Lee said she'd be willing to maintain the area behind her home. She had a garden on Kawamoto's side of the fence until warning signs went up.

"We would be arrested for trespassing on his property. So we stopped going back there and everything just went crazy," she said.

Lambert said Kawamoto visited his home three months ago, looked at the tree and left.

He hopes the tree finally dwarfing his home gets trimmed before an accident happens.

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