HALEIWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city says it will begin fining the Haleiwa Beach House restaurant $250 a day, claiming that it needed a permit to make improvements and pave its parking lot. But the restaurant's owner contends he already has the permits and is following the law.
The restaurant opened its doors on Easter Sunday of this year. But by mid-May, the state Health Department limited the restaurant's capacity to 114, saying that's what it's original wastewater system could handle.
Anderson showed us a new wastewater treatment system now installed behind the building. "There's a big difference," he said. "The water that comes out of here, I can use it for irrigation, I can use it any place."
Anderson said the new system can treat up to 10,000 gallons a day, which will be piped into a new leach field that was just completed beneath his parking lot. He said the new system would allow him to operate at full capacity within weeks, pending approval from the Health Department.
"We have almost six thousand square feet of new leach field so we can get away from the stream and the pond controversy," he said, referring to the Health Department's claim that wastewater from the restaurant had spilled into neighboring property close to a stream and fishpond.
But now there's another controversy.
Anderson says he has approval for Special Management Area minor permits, and that some of the improvements -- such as the restaurant interior -- are excluded by law.
"The work should not have been allowed because it is in a watershed, and a special management area, and they have different requirements, and he thought that he was above the law," said longtime Haleiwa resident T.J. Cuaresma, who has been critical of Anderson.
And on October 28, the city sent a letter, saying the improvements together cost more than $500,000. It said that requires what's known as a "major" SMA permit, which requires public hearings and an environmental assessment. The new permit would also require city council approval.
Anderson says he's done everything by the book, and had documents showing the city had approved earlier permits.
"These letters were approved, these letters were given to us. We've been operating under these approvals. And now they want to revisit it. I really don't know why," he said.
Anderson plans to meet with city officials Friday to discuss the matter.