Graffiti solution in Waikele sparks community complaints

Graffiti solution in Waikele sparks community complaints

WAIKELE,OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A wall in Waikele is becoming a graffiti battleground. After cleaning up the tags for 15 years, the Waikele Community Association now wants homeowners to paint over the problem.

Taryn Alejado has lived in the Sunset Pointe community along Kamehameha Highway for more than two decades. She is one of roughly 30 homeowners along the wall who recently received letters from the association. They were given 15 days to cover up the graffiti on their section with a specified paint. Homeowners could face a citation and a fine if they fail to follow the rules.

"It really just puts all the pressure on us to maintain the wall, and we've been here for so long that it doesn't seem right that we have to take care of it when they've been doing it for so long," said Alejado.

The association's general manager said the organization had been paying to powerwash the wall even though homeowners were actually responsible for getting rid of the graffiti.

"We've actually absorbed the cost of that so we did not pass it on to the homeowners. So I would say in the last 15 years, we've spent over $20,000 from association funds," said Malcolm Ching.

Community projects to clean up graffiti are only done when volunteers are available. With more tags turning up these days, the association now wants residents to take action.

"Everybody is saying that why should we buy $40 worth of paint like every other week to fix the wall when our association dues could cover that?" said Alejado.

"Their association dues pays for common area maintenance. This wall is not common area. It's on their property," responded Ching.

Neighbors suggested growing more hedges along the wall to deter vandals instead. Ching said the association tried several times, but was unsuccessful due to limited irrigation and other issues.

Ching said the association is not trying to penalize anyone. Time extensions are being granted and he said community support will be available.

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