AINA HAINA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Land developer Jeff Stone owns nine and a half acres at the top of Hao Street in Aina Haina. He wants to build two two-story single family homes there.
But longtime residents on Hao said the ground is unstable, sits on a steep slope, and floods when it rains.
"I've been here 33 years. This turns into a river, a raging river. and any house built here will get flooded out," Jack Gardner said.
People are against Stone's project for another reason. They believe it will disturb sacred sites.
"The whole valley back here is a nature preserve. We have Hawaiian cultural artifacts, Elepaio, endangered species on the endemic threatened species list," Danny Loui said.
The city said the property hasn't been flagged for archaeological sites, but has passed on community concerns to the State Historic Preservation Division. The city also believes the site is safe to build on. Last month it issued Stone two building permits.
But residents along Hao fear he has bigger plans and won't stop at just a couple of houses.
"Although he asked for two, his own documents over the last two years show eight homes are planned. An eight-home subdivision versus the two," Aina Haina Community Association president Wayson Chow said.
The city owns the 85 acres surrounding Stone's property. That land is zoned as a nature preserve. Stone's parcel is zoned as residential.
"We'd like to have the city purchase this and give it back to the people for all to enjoy," Loui said.
Chow said the Aina Haina Community Association has fought development on that land since the 1970s. Stone has owned it since 2004.
Hawaii News Now reached out to him, but his public relations representative had no comment.
"We've had an open invitation for him to attend our meetings at any time," Chow said. "There's been no communications at all, even through third parties."