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Hart Seeks to Acquire Two Properties Through Eminent Domain

Hart Seeks To Acquire Two Properties Through Eminent
Domain

The board of directors of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid
Transportation today adopted a pair of resolutions notifying
the Honolulu City Council of its intent to acquire by eminent
domain two parcels of land needed for the rail transit project.

“Several years of sincere negotiations to reach an agreement on
a price for these properties have not been successful. We
believe the best option now is to have a third party, that is
the court, decide the appropriate settlement,” said
HART Executive Director and CEO Dan Grabauskas. “This action
will respect the property owners’ interests and those of the
taxpayers.”

HART works to acquire property for the project through mutual
agreement with the property owners. All residential
acquisitions have been completed in this manner. The remaining
properties to be acquired, including these two, are business
and commercial properties. The Honolulu rail project must
comply with the Federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and the
Real Property Acquisition Policies Act and state law.
Condemnation is the avenue of last resort.

“We have been successful in acquiring 21 properties by
negotiating an agreed upon purchase price with the affected
landowners,” Grabauskas said. “In these two particular cases,
we have done our due diligence to reach agreement with
the property owners.”

The two properties are located at 96-136 Farrington Highway in
Waipahu and 945 Kamehameha Highway in Pearl City.

As part of the right-of-way acquisition process, each affected
property is appraised by an independent, third-party appraiser
who determines the fair market value. The offer to property owners
cannot be less than the appraised value.

The eminent domain resolutions now move to the Honolulu City
Council. The Council has 45 days to review the measures. If
the Council does not adopt a resolution objecting to the
property acquisitions during that time, the HART Board may
proceed to give final approval to institute eminent domain
proceedings. Such final action would occur after public notice
and an opportunity for public testimony.

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