Tempers fray over parking fees, maintenance on private Kakaako roads

Tempers fray over parking fees, maintenance on private Kakaako roads
Updated: Nov. 27, 2017 at 5:04 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

KAKAAKO (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Kakaako Land Company collects parking fees from permits it sells for street parking in Kakaako.

But business owners complain the streets are riddled with potholes and aren't being maintained by the company.

"They may have filled a pothole or two. The fact remains that the majority of those streets in Kakaako are now in disrepair. There's safety issues," attorney Michael Carroll said.

Carroll represents two plaintiffs suing the company's owners, Calvert and Cedric Chun.

Their attorney, Wade Katano, defended their claim in court Monday, arguing that they rightfully own eight streets in Kakaako and are within their rights to charge people for parking permits.

"We're only dealing with parking on the shoulders. And we're dealing with areas that are away from a lot of these storefronts," he said.

The Chuns claim a deed from the original owner gave them the streets, including Queen, Kawaiahao and Kaimana streets.

Cliff Garcia owns Tropical Lamp & Shade on Queen Street. He sued the Chuns after they put a parking by permit sign on his property.

"They wanted to charge me $100 a car. I would not do that," Garcia said.

He took the sign down. But there are many others throughout Kakaako.

"These signs are in fact impeding businesses. They can't operate," Carroll said. "They can't use public streets these businesses have used for decades."

The signs began appearing in 2010.

The Chuns insist they are maintaining the roads.

"In fact, I was just talking to Cal and Ced and they said they actually went out and they were actually repairing potholes yesterday," Katano said.

Last year the City Council passed a resolution to bring the streets under city control. But nothing has happened.

An attorney for the city told the judge the city can't enforce the resolution because Kakaako is under the authority of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, a state agency.

After three years of court filings and delays, the case may finally be going to trial in January.

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