Plan would condemn 301 acres
City Council Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz has proposed the city condemn 301 acres of James Campbell Estate land in Kahuku to maintain an affordable-housing development and a municipal golf course.
The resolution comes as City Council members are also considering a measure, which passed through committee this week, that would allow the estate to sell its land to residents without making required improvements.
Dela Cruz, whose district includes Kahuku, said the two measures provide "some hope" to residents that their plantation-era homes can be saved.
"We want to ensure that residents living on these parcels are not displaced when Campbell Estate liquidates its land assets," he said, adding that "because all these different estates are dissolving, I think there are a lot of people worried about the roofs over their heads."
The Campbell Estate is set to terminate in 2007. Last summer, estate officials announced it would be selling the last 2,000 acres it owns in Kahuku, including land under a development of plantation-era homes.
Land that the city leases for the 18-hole Kahuku Municipal Golf Course is also up for sale, Dela Cruz said.
Campbell Vice President Bert Hatton has said the estate likely would not subdivide large tracts with hundreds of acres into house-size lots because it would mean making millions of dollars in sewer improvements, flood mitigation efforts and other required work.
But Dela Cruz said the Council bill would allow the estate, along with other large landowners that own plantation-era developments, to be exempted from water and sewer infrastructure requirements.
Dela Cruz said he introduced the condemnation resolution to provide a second avenue for Kahuku residents to keep their homes.
He could not say how much the land might cost or whether there is enough money in the budget to buy it.
In January more than 60 Kahuku residents rallied along Kamehameha Highway to "Keep Kahuku Country," fearing that the estate would sell the property under their plantation-era homes and leave them no place to live. They have formed a nonprofit that might also be able to purchase a large tract of land to preserve their homes, Dela Cruz said.