A resolution that would allow the city to condemn eight private streets in Kakaako that have generated complaints from nearby businesses and residents was advanced by a Honolulu City Council committee Tuesday.

The resolution now lists the steps the city administration will need to complete in order to acquire the streets where traffic has been obstructed by parking slots that a company has rented out.

Members of the Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee want to encourage the Office of Council Services, which does research for the City Council, and the city Department of the Corporation Counsel to work together to finalize the resolution’s language, Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga said at the meeting.

The council Committee on Executive Matters and Legal Affairs met on Oct. 18 to discuss a resolution that would allow the city to condemn eight private streets in Kakaako.

Members of the City Council Committee on Executive Matters and Legal Affairs meet Tuesday.

Noelle Fujii/Civil Beat

With City Council approval the city can, by eminent domain, take possession of Curtis, Dreier, Cummins and Ilaniwai streets and portions of Kamakee, Waimanu, Kawaiahao and Queen streets.

The amended resolution calls on the city administration to ask for adequate funding to acquire these streets in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget and inform property owners and others claiming ownership that the city plans to acquire the property.

The city would also need to prepare an appraisal of the property to help estimate how much owners would be compensated and make offers and give reasonable time for the owners to respond.

The resolution now moves to the full Council for further discussion. Testimony can be accepted at the Council’s Nov. 2 meeting, if the resolution makes it on the agenda, but it cannot be acted on until the next Council meeting, whether that’s the following month’s regularly scheduled meeting or an earlier, special meeting, Fukunaga told Civil Beat.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit has been filed by several small businesses challenging the legitimacy of the Kakaako Land Company’s ownership of these streets.

However, because those businesses are located on Queen and Cummins streets, the court’s ruling may be limited to those streets, attorney Michael Carroll, who is representing the businesses, told Civil Beat.

Bob Emami, owner of the Car Store on Kawaiahao Street, said at the meeting that the only solution that can bring relief to all of the affected businesses and residents is the condemnation of all the private roads.

But even if the full City Council supports this effort, it would still take about two and a half years for the city to condemn the roads, said Robert Kroning, director of the city Department of Design and Construction, at a Sept. 20 committee meeting.

“That is going to be very, very frustrating for us because we’re living in such an awful situation … on these private roads,” Emami told Civil Beat. “If you go to Kawaiahao Street, you will see the condition of the street is full of potholes and no law and order and no sidewalks. So the residents and businesses, which are in that area, are in a desperate need for something to be done.”

Read the amended resolution below:

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