Waiahole residents are taking a stand against development
Waiahole, Oahu (KHNL) -For more than 50-years a windward Oahu community has fought to preserve their land. Now as a developer attempts to push forward with plans to build, some frustrated residents are taking a stand.
The Waiahole Valley residents say their land is their life. With the threat of a developer leveling parts of the area to build million dollar homes the community says no way, not in my neighborhood.
Serenity and simplicity are reality here in the Waiahole Valley. Jose and Elizabeth Royos have lived here for about 50-years. They say their simple life is now complicated.
"We've fought hard for this valley to keep it as an ag-pocket to keep our lifestyle, to have developers come in and think they can bring million dollar homes in here, that's a no-no," said Elizabeth Royos.
Its not hard to spot one of the many signs with very strong statements directed to developer Tom Enomoto.
About a hundred families live here. Some say with reasonable rent, agriculture and a rural lifestyle they are here to stay.
"We're ready to stop him on any development in this valley. This valley will really suffer because the traffic and the taxes and all this other pollution," said Jose Royos.
Residents say a site development permit was applied for in the late 80's but the city rejected it because of substandard road size, the lack of gutters and water concerns on the 5-acre lot.
These signs may be silent, but residents are hopeful they pave a road to remedy the situation.
"We're not interested in having any development and it's mainly to discourage buyers to come into this valley. We'll continue to fight and not give up," said Jose.
With a call for conservation, not condemnation of the area, residents say these signs may be the key to spreading their message, locking in the security of their land.
Residents say if they allow the million dollar homes to be built it will end up being a slippery slope with condos, high rises and other buildings to follow. They say the best defense is to stop development before it starts.