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 heavy machinery in ag zone

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
kalianna Posted - 08/10/2019 : 13:06:14
The neighbor behind us in HPP has a trucking and heavy machinery business as well as a rock farm where he digs up truckloads of rocks, dumps them into his trucks and sells them. There is no farming on the property. I know he needs a special use permit for the rock mining but despite having read the zoning statutes I'm still unclear as to the legality of the business. He has a 3 acre property but parks, revs and idles his trucks right at our fence line. He just erected a new open-sided workshop right at the setback line by our fence. Today we had metal grinding. Yesterday it was electric saws. Etc.

We have talked to him, written him respectful letters to do some kind of noise abatement and tried to engage him in mediation all to no avail. I have complaints registered with the planning department and the dept. of healthbut of course nothing has happened with that. The situation has become intolerable.

So three questions:

1) Is what he is doing legal in an ag zone?
2) Does anyone have any experience with filing a private nuisance lawsuit on this island?
3) Can anyone recommend a real estate/civil lawsuit lawyer who might be able to advise us?
12   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
kalianna Posted - 08/10/2019 : 22:49:26
leilanidude, I also referred to the process as a quarry and was corrected by the county planning dept. "Quarry" means big hole in the ground. Rock farming was as close to an apt description as I could come up with.

And Kirt, your response was neither helpful nor appropriate here.

knieft Posted - 08/10/2019 : 16:09:12
quote:
Originally posted by kalianna


So three questions:

1) Is what he is doing legal in an ag zone?
2) Does anyone have any experience with filing a private nuisance lawsuit on this island?
3) Can anyone recommend a real estate/civil lawsuit lawyer who might be able to advise us?




Does it really matter! Put up a flag and you’re good to go....

Cheers,
Kirt
kalakoa Posted - 08/10/2019 : 15:57:33
the rock farming is also legal if he has a special use permit

"If" there's a permit? County should know, it's their job.

SUP is another flaw: one-off "spot zoning" regardless of surrounding uses.

Same old, same old.
leilanidude Posted - 08/10/2019 : 15:52:27
County has said that the rock farming is also legal if he has a special use permit and doesn't leave holes in the ground.
---------------
There you go. "Rock farming" ??? Quarry...
kalakoa Posted - 08/10/2019 : 15:42:49
Welcome to Ag zoning. Good luck with the CC&Rs. Too bad about the rule of law...
kalianna Posted - 08/10/2019 : 14:58:03
Under 600 sq. ft. I'm aware of size limits. And it's just one of those carport covers (hence the noise) which I know is legal. County has said that the rock farming is also legal if he has a special use permit and doesn't leave holes in the ground.
kalakoa Posted - 08/10/2019 : 14:50:20
See HCC chapter 10: erosion and sedementation control.

No grading/grubbing work without a permit, there are exceptions but likely none of them apply here. No stockpiling without a stockpiling permit. Grading more than 15000 square feet requires contour map prepared by engineer/surveyor. Cut or fill greater than 15 feet in height requires a soils report. Additional requirements apply when close to a property line. Payment of fees required for permit. Only available where rule of law applies.

a new open-sided workshop

Larger than 600 square feet?

kalianna Posted - 08/10/2019 : 14:46:16
HOTPE -- thanks for the permit check info. I've used the site before but didn't know you could look up permits. Unfortunately, the "search records" tab is not working at the moment. I'm shocked. "-) Will try again later.

The discouraging replies are pretty much what I expected. So if anyone knows any way to proceed with legal action and can steer us somewhere for civil lawsuit advice that would be great. There is a HI law (Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 712 Part V Nuisance Abatement) that prohibits people being deprived of "the quiet enjoyment of their home". That's one approach. The other is our inability to sell our house (which we really DON"T want to do) due to having to disclose this neighbor's perpetual noise. But would love to hear from anyone who might be able to recommend a lawyer. If not, yes, I'll contact a real estate agent.

Mahalo to all for your responses.
BillyB Posted - 08/10/2019 : 14:24:09
If it's a quarry then:
The Mine Safety and Health Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Labor which administers the provisions of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 to enforce compliance.

Glover, YS rock, Puna rock, Sanfords, all are regulated by this agency. https://www.msha.gov/
terracore Posted - 08/10/2019 : 14:18:38
There is an illegal "chop shop" on Auli'i with hundreds of cars leaking various fluids into the ground (has all the markings of a future EPA Superfund cleanup site) and the neighbors have called and complained to every local, state, and federal agency known to mankind. Not just for the environmental disaster but all the noise/nuisance, and illegal activity. Apparently it is a bank-owned property and the operation is run by squatters. People have complained to the bank as well. This is obviously not a legal, nor AG operation, but no agency will act on it.
leilanidude Posted - 08/10/2019 : 13:58:20
as well as a rock farm where he digs up truckloads of rocks, dumps them into his trucks and sells them.
--------------
That sounds like a quarry - and does not fit into ag land use.
Furthermore, since the state owns all mineral rights - has he been paying the tax on the mined rocks? That may be the "gotcha".
HereOnThePrimalEdge Posted - 08/10/2019 : 13:25:12
1) Is what he is doing legal in an ag zone?

I’m no expert in real estate zoning, but from your description your neighbor seems to be operating an industrial / commercial business, not ag. That’s allowed (Curley’s Auto Repair, Wally’s, etc) but only with a Special Use Permit. When did he start his business? It may also be grandfathered in if it’s before the Special Use Permits were required.

In addition to the real estate office, you might ask a realtor about zoning and restrictions in HPP. You can look up whether he already has any permits on the Hawaii County Real Estate Tax page:
http://www.hawaiipropertytax.com/search.html

If you haven’t used the website before let me know and I can walk you through it so you can find his property.

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