City action spurs drastic transformation of trash-ridden property in Kaimuki

For years, we’ve told you about a house on 2nd Avenue in Kaimuki that was filled with trash.

Today, there’s no trace left of the home. Neighbors tell us new owners built a two-story home this year.

We spoke to Honolulu City Council member Ann Kobayashi about the home, which is in her district.

She says she’s glad the city was able to do something about it, but there is still more work to be done on other properties that have fallen in disrepair.

For the past two years, neighbors watched the old home transform into what it is today. We learned the former homeowners also cleaned and sold the property. The fines from the city were paid off.

Several neighbors on the street did not want to go on camera, but said they’re happy with their new neighbors and the new house that was built.

“I did get letters from the neighbors. They are just so happy that other house is gone,” said Kobayashi.

Kobayashi said the lessons learned from this home pushed the council to pass an ordinance that allows the city to go onto private property and take care of the mess if officials can’t get a hold of the property owner.

“There are so many people living here, and you can’t have a house endangering other homes,” Kobayashi said.

So what about other homes like the one on Pensacola Street in Makiki? We asked the city what the status is for that property.

The city tells us it’s at the stage of notifying the owner through public notices in the newspaper. A lien has already been placed on the property.

“If the property owner still does not respond, then the city has to do something, because especially on Pensacola, if that thing ever went up in a fire, it would really be disastrous for the neighbors,” said Kobayashi.

We asked the city if it has a list of the number of abandoned or derelict homes, but a spokesman from the Department of Planning and Permitting said they don’t keep a list.

If you know of a property that is causing a safety hazard, you should reach out to your city representative.

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