Makiki home buried under mountain of trash proves tough for city - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Makiki home buried under mountain of trash proves tough for city to tackle

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MAKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Months after the city pledged to step in, the mountains of trash at a Makiki home still hasn't moved and neighbors are more fed up than ever before.

The front door of 1421 Pensacola Street is blocked by a rusted car and the lot is infested with roaches along with other pests.

"Mosquitoes, rats, cats ... lots of them," said neighbor Muskie Manu-Sparks.

The issue has been decades in the making, but earlier this year the city said it was stepping in to tackle the issue. 

Sparks said she doesn't mind the cats because they keep the rats away. But more cats are showing up on her property as well as the other critters.

"It's a disaster over here. Mosquito punks burning every day just to keep my friends here to talk story or just to even have lunch outside," Manu-Sparks said.

There is a law that allows the city to clear out cluttered private properties. But the area councilwoman who introduced the bill said it's a lengthy process.

"Because it is private property. And for the city to go onto private property and remove someone's belongings and go into their house, it has to go through this legal process," said Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi.

Court records show the city has been trying to track down the owner since December. Property records indicate the owner is Rollin Yee and he now faces nearly $300,000 in fines. It also shows he has been paying property taxes as recently as this year.

"They have to serve notice to the owner and they haven't been able to get a hold of him. They've tried going to the house, but he doesn't respond," Kobayashi said.

Sparks said the owner is around and that he picks up his mail in the middle of the night and hangs out at a nearby cemetery.

"When he puts flowers in the cemetery for his mom and dad, he leaves a tag, 'Happy Valentines'...'Happy Mother's Day'...'Happy Father's Day'...'Merry Christmas'...'Happy New Year'...'from Rollin.' So we know he understands," she said.

The city said the next step is putting a legal notice in the newspaper to try to contact Yee.

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