- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - The trucks carting construction materials into the Hawaii Kai neighborhood have left some residents concerned.

The city approved plans for a new cemetery on a 69-acre land parcel in Kamilo Nui Valley more than a decade ago, but the construction never began — until now, reports Hawaii News reports (https://bit.ly/1I5cImq ).

“Our understanding is that there would be no activity back here until the owners have a cemetery plan in place. And as far as we’re aware, there is none,” said Natalie Iwasa, a member of the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board.

She doesn’t like the materials that are being brought into the area.

“There’s cement, re-bar, asphalt. How should we be handling that?” asked Iwasa.

The property is currently owned by Hawaii Kai Memorial Park LLC, and the company’s attorney says the construction materials are commonly used to build roadways and foundations.

The cemetery construction was approved by the City Council in 2001. But there were delays, said attorney William McCorriston, including one after a founding partner declared bankruptcy.

By 2014, the delay had stretched so long that the council asked the Department of Permitting and Planning to investigate.

The Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board also said it is concerned that stockpiling at the cemetery site is not following geotechnical recommendations for the property.

But McCorriston said the property owners are in compliance with regulations and are subject to inspections by the city, the county, the Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“In fact, a city inspector was just up there last week,” said McCorriston.

He said the owners have applied for a business license from the state and a master grading permit. If those are approved, he said, construction could finally begin later this year.

“In urban Oahu, really this is probably going to be the last permitted cemetery, so we look forward to providing that service to the people of Honolulu,” said McCorriston.

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Information from: KGMB-TV, https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

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