PUPUKEA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A landowner has apologized to residents on Oahu's North Shore, promising that they will have a say in a development mauka of Shark's Cove.
A company called Hanapohaku purchased the three-acre parcel of land in 2014. Since then, the number of food trucks and other businesses have multiplied.
Those concerns were brought up at a special meeting of the North Shore Neighborhood Board on Wednesday night.
"They don't move, so they're really not lunch wagons, they are permanent structures," said Nancy Salemi, the owner of Cholos Mexican Restaurant in Haleiwa. "If they are permanent structures, then why don't they have grease traps? Why don't they have to have bathrooms?"
Others also accused the landowner of being evasive about their plans.
"Instead of engaging with the community, doing an environmental review, looking at the cumulative impacts, they instead went in and got three what are called minor SMA permits, and pretty much evaded the whole public review process," said Denise Antolini, a Pupukea resident and president of Malama Pupukea-Waimea.
The three minor Special Management Area permits don't require public hearings. The landowner admitted that that was wrong.
"We should have engaged you sooner. We should have," said co-owner Andrew Yani. "I'm sorry. I'm terribly sorry for that."
Yani said he and co-owner Cully Judd are withdrawing the three minor SMA permits and plan to start the process over from scratch. That could include applying for another permit, this one requiring public input.
"We would like to be good neighbors. We would like to be good stewards of this land," Yani told the gathering. "We hear traffic, We hear wastewater, We hear violations on the trucks. We hear this."
Community members welcomed what they say is a change in tone from the developers. But others contend it's something that should have been done before the trucks and other businesses started springing up.
"What's coming when? Because we have the impact now," said Sunset Point resident Jim Parsons.
Even with the apology, some residents remain skeptical.
It's also unknown exactly what will happen to the trucks and businesses already on the land, but Yani believes they should be allowed to stay if they follow city laws.