Kaimuki Family Still Waiting For Wheelchair Ramp Approval

Robert Jahier
Robert Jahier
Charles Djou
Charles Djou

KAIMUKI (KHNL) -- In April, we met a Kaimuki man who was forced to tear down a ramp he built at his home for his wheelchair-bound daughters. Six months later, he's still fighting for city approval to install a safe and sturdy ramp.

In April, we watched as a frightened 12-year-old Etalynia prepared to use a flimsy wheelchair ramp.

Her father built a solid, wooden walkway for her and her sister. But Robert Jahier says the city rejected the structure because, although it was within his property, it didn't meet the 10-foot setback requirement.

"We're just basically talking about real simple basic, you know, life necessities as coming in and out of your own home," Jahier said.

Six months later, the temporary ramp is still there. Jahier says he got a variance for the setback, but building officials are now concerned about the slope of the proposed walkway.

"They said there's a little too steep of an angle," he said.

"I really think this is getting to be ridiculous," Charles Djou, Honolulu city councilmember, said. "The slope ratio really is a technicality. It is not a major issue. It should not be a sticking point."

Etalynia and her older sister, Renisha, have motor, visual and speech impairments due to a genetic disorder. Their father hopes other families with loved ones in wheelchairs won't have to go through the same experience.

"The family has been caught in this Kafka-esque bureaucracy nightmare," Djou said. "And from my perspective, the city should really just get off their okoles and do it and allow them to have this wheelchair ramp."

Jahier says he's scheduled to show building officials his updated plans Wednesday, and is hoping for good news. We'll keep you posted.