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HPP road project gets green light to proceed

  • KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald Scott Ulery points toward the fallen trees Wednesday that were knocked over to pave a road over 17th Street in Hawaii Paradise Park. Ulery monitors the area so he can call the police when construction workers come to work on the road

A controversial road project in Hawaiian Paradise Park has been delayed, but subdivision officials say work will proceed, despite some community opposition.

In May, some HPP residents protested against the planned construction of a 300-foot stretch of road between Makuu and Paradise drives that would complete the currently dead-end 17th Avenue. Residents feared the project could potentially disturb archaeological remains in the area, among other concerns.

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Although the project was delayed in May — a bulldozer broke down and had to be repaired — Don Morris, general manager of the HPP Owners Association, said work on the road should resume within the next few weeks regardless of the opposition.

“If people don’t like it, they can talk to their board representatives,” Morris said. “These people are under the assumption that the board can’t make these decisions without a vote by the residents, but that’s why we have a board. We’d never get 8,700 people to agree on anything otherwise.”

Morris said residents are free to attempt to convince the board to stop the project, but explained that the road has several practical reasons. For one, he said, the board has an obligation to help the owners of undeveloped lots on 17th Avenue to access their properties.

Morris also said completing the road will give emergency vehicles another, more efficient, route to access much of the subdivision.

Meanwhile, Morris said, a 2020 archaeological field inspection found that the project will not disturb any archaeological remains in any way.

“We know there’s some remains nearby,” Morris clarified. “But they’re closer to 18th Avenue. They’re not in the way of the road.”

Once the bulldozer returns to the road, Morris said it should be a matter of days to clear foliage and put down gravel.

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However, before then, owners association will continue to face opposition from residents. Resident Crystal Schiszler, one of the most vocal opponents of the road project, said she and other residents intend to protest against the road project and other alleged mismanagement by the association outside its general membership meeting on June 27.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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