Condo's construction in east Honolulu irks residents

AINA HAINA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some 13 years ago, Kent Untermann shared his plans to build a condominium-type project with 16 units on three acres of land that he purchased off Kiai Place below Waialae Iki ridge.

It didn't go well.

"I like to be proactive, I like to communicate really well, but my experience last time was absolutely terrible," he said.

That's when residents shot down those plans during a neighborhood board meeting.

On Thursday night, Untermann was back — this time to address concerns over his revised project. He has started work to build eight single-family homes on the property. But this time, some neighboring residents say they've been left in the dark as excavators have chewed into the hillside, leaving exposed rock that's visible around Aina Haina.

"It doesn't look good. And that's unfortunate. When you get into construction and you cut, but it would look just like the same street does 50 years ago," Untermann said.

Concerned residents packed the Kuilouou-Kalani Iki Neighborhood Board meeting Wednesday night to voice several concerns, including construction noise, and increased chances of flooding and rockslides.

"You're going seven days a week! Saturdays, Sundays. Yes! Yes!" said one angry resident.

"I will give you my cell number and if we are there on Sunday, you call me," Untermann replied.

"That was back in August," the man fired back.

"I'm not aware of that. I apologize," Untermann responded.

Tim Hiu, the deputy director of the city's Department of Permitting and Planning, said that the project has met all the requirements for construction and trading permits, and that he has addressed many concerns.

"The issue was looked at and addressed and mitigated in the construction activities and the design," Hiu told the gathering.

Untermann had at least one supporter in the meeting.

"This is as considerate and as thorough from both the government and the individual contractor that I've heard," said one man during the meeting.

However, many other residents say Untermann needs to do a better job of communicating.

"We need some way for you to communicate to people and for maybe to give you feedback, like someone said there was something going on on Sundays and you didn't know," said neighborhood board chair Heather Lum.

Untermann promised to communicate more on the project, and said he would come to neighborhood board meeting whenever needed to provide updates.

Untermann said the project will be proceeding slowly and will cost about $10 million. Actual construction of the homes won't begin for another year and a half.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.