North Shore homeowner faces hefty fines for moving sand to protect his home

He said he was forced to take matters into his own hands.
Published: Apr. 17, 2022 at 5:16 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 18, 2022 at 11:14 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is eyeing hefty fines against a North Shore homeowner who moved tons of sand on the beach fronting his property in a bid to protect his and his neighbors’ homes.

Todd Dunphy said he had little choice but to take matters into his own hands.

In February, Dunphy pleaded with DLNR Chair Suzanne Case for permits to protect his home.

“It makes them look ridiculous. They’re fining a property owner who is trying to save his home? It’s ridiculous. They all should be fired,” said Dunphy.

A house two doors down collapsed due to high waves back in February. Dunphy said waves also washed into his home about six weeks ago.

He said he recently bought an excavator and started pushing up the sand from the beach about 10 days ago.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources declined comment on the proposed fines prior to a Friday hearing on the matter. Dunphy faces penalties of up to $15,000 a day for the offenses.

The DLNR hasn’t issued permits for building sand or rock barriers.

Instead, it said homeowners will likely have to move their homes away from the eroding coastlines.

Dunphy said any fine is better than seeing homes in his neighborhood destroyed by the waves.

“We all feel a lot better now that I did this because we all have a minute to breathe and we’re not stressed out that the homes are going ... fall into the ocean,” he said.

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