Subdivision roads: Bill calls for upkeep fees from lot owners

A bill would attempt to fix the problem of substandard roads in private subdivisions by requiring Hawaii County to assess and spend road maintenance fees.

House Bill 2570 would start a three-year pilot program that would involve the county and state Department of Transportation identifying roads that are in such disrepair that emergency vehicles experience unreasonable delays.


The county would then collect fees from lot owners in the subdivisions to pay for road improvements and maintenance.

Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, who introduced the bill, said it’s intended to stop infighting within the large private subdivisions regarding who to pay fees to and provide additional oversight. She said the county should take the responsibility since it approved the subdivisions.

“The Hawaii Supreme Court already said in these infrastructure-less subdivisions, there is a duty to contribute toward infrastructure,” she said. “But it never said who to do it.”

The House committees on Housing and Water and Land amended the bill Wednesday to try this approach as a pilot first.

County Planning Director Michael Yee submitted written testimony against the bill, though he praised San Buenaventura, D-Puna, for trying to address the issue.

He said it would place an unfair burden on the county.

“To move this issue forward in the County of Hawaii, a feasibility study is needed that would include financing and implementation options,” Yee wrote. He suggested funding of $300,000 to pay for a road feasibility study.

Written testimony submitted to the committees was mostly in support.

“I believe the county should be responsible on organizing the collection of fees and maintaining our roads,” wrote Francisco Arellano of Hawaiian Paradise Park. “We pay the same share of taxes as any other community in Hilo.”

Diana Miller wrote that maintenance of private roads should be left up to the neighborhoods.

“Adding another requirement like this will likely require additional personnel and increased budget and eventually higher taxes to cover the requirements,” she said.


The bill was referred to the House Finance Committee.

Email Tom Callis at

  1. metalman808 February 17, 2018 9:05 am Reply

    I guess our property taxes go to someones retirement. It would be nice if it went towards the persons property and roads. That makes more sense. Can I be part of the 300,000 dollar road plan study.

    1. volcanovillage February 17, 2018 12:27 pm Reply

      yes you can ! ….. you as a taxpayer can help pay for it ! ( and raises for Mayor Kim and County employees as well ) ….. pony up !
      Mr. Kim is in a Tax Raising kind of mood.

      1. metalman808 February 17, 2018 2:57 pm Reply

        My subdivision already has road maintenance fees. And i do pay. Problem is when they groom the roads then every body is doing 50 mph on the back roads leaving behind giant dust clouds.

  2. breed41 February 17, 2018 9:13 am Reply

    county would have to claim ownership of road ways

    1. volcanovillage February 17, 2018 12:31 pm Reply

      about time, they collect Our taxes for it ….. might as well deliver.

  3. volcanovillage February 17, 2018 12:05 pm Reply

    Hawaii’s Private Sub Disions are in a present state of Real CRISIS.
    Hawaii’s “PAPER ROADS” within these Private Sub Divisions are being stolen.
    Our “PRIVATE Sub Division” in Volcano has ELEVEN Roadways that were planned INTO the Original Kalani Honua Tract at inception.
    NOW some of these Road Ways and Right of Ways are being Willfully Blocked from sub division use.
    The COUNTY Recognizes these Roadways ( in writing ) but will Not help with anything.
    I know from talking with Police Officers and politicians that this is a PROBLEM throughout Puna and the Big Island.
    By ALL MEANS the County needs to step in accept Ownership for all assorted private sub divisions.
    OTHERWISE… is being blocked for Private Personal Gains.
    We pay our taxes, our gas fees like ALL good citizens of the Big Island do and get NOTHING to help with this “Wild West” land blockage / abduction / appropriation by going on in OUR Sub Divisions or ANY sort of help maintaining safe passage.
    Volcano is growing and County WE NEED OUR ROADS as planned in the Original plat maps honored…..otherwise we are going to have blockage and traffic congestion in Volcano the likes of which you have Never seen.
    Our taxes….our roads, our emergency vehicles our communities Futures.
    YES….County should absolutely take ownership of private subdivision Road Ways.

  4. Steve Dearing February 18, 2018 7:16 am Reply

    Another assine demo rat nightmare.

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