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Ahuimanu residents opposing plan seeking rezoning of preservation land

An investor recently bought 51.8 acres of preservation land in Ahuimanu for $299,000. Now, he's trying to get part of his property rezoned to allow 4 homes to be built. Residents who spoke with the property owner Mr. Wayne Sadoyama said they were told the properties would likely be sold for market value. Records show the past 5 homes sold in this area all went for more than $1 million.

Earlier this month, Mr. Sadoyama sent a letter to residents who live next to his property off Hui Kelu Street. It briefly informs them of his plan. Sadoyama also spoke at the most recent Kahaluu Neighborhood Board meeting. He faced a number of concerns there and questions like these from residents.

"Why would you buy knowing that its zoned preservation, why would you buy land, that's questionable," said John Kamu Hall, a Hui Kelu Street resident.

Hall spoke with Mr. Sadoyama and then went door to door throughout the neighborhood to try to let everyone know about what has been going on and what the investor's intentions are.

"I got about almost 50-percent of the neighbors and we walked over a hundred homes. We got almost 50-percent of the response was no we are definitely not in favor of this. I just got 50-percent of the response and all of it was definitely against. No one said 'oh why what's the problem let him do what he wants to do,' I did not get a single response like that," said Hall.

The responses Hall did get were filled with concerns like what could happen to their community and other communities nearby if this proposal makes it to the City Council.

"Our points that we are very concerned about is the precedence of if he's allowed to develop and build on these properties, what's going to stop the next person because there is another property that was recently purchased right around the time Sadoyama bought his place, preservation lot that another realtor purchased and a lot of the neighbors in the area are very concerned with what the intentions of that individual is should this take precedence he gets his rezoning, then what will be next? Who's going to be able to afford to buy a $600k property and build another probably at this point one-million-dollar home. I probably can't do it myself and I live here. Everything goes up and next thing you know we're priced out and for some of us that have been living here for a long time, suddenly we can't even afford to live in our own neighborhood," said Hall.

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