AP NEWS

Honolulu condo association cited for cutting protected trees

November 19, 2019 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — A Honolulu condominium association has received a city violation notice for cutting down protected trees at the property, officials said.

The city Department of Planning and Permitting issued the notice to the Puu Alii Community Association in October, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

The association on Oahu has cut numerous trees from a slope below condo buildings including Formosan koa, Java plum, Mindanao gum, and white monkeypod specimens, the notice said.

“We ask that the PCA take immediate action to cure this violation by replacing the removed trees with equivalent plants or functional equivalents acceptable to the PCA general membership,” the department wrote in October.

The permitting agency said it planned to impose civil fines if numerous trees were not replaced by Nov. 17.

The Kaneohe property has more than 1,300 trees that are supposed to be maintained by the community of condo owners under a special city ordinance.

Documents from the community association and the city indicate tree removals and extreme trimming to preserve residents’ views have caused chronic problems. The community has not fully complied with landscaping rules since the 540-home complex was approved for development in 1975, the city said.

Association President Shawn Scott did not respond to a request for comment.

Scott said in a June letter to the city that the association believes it can produce a landscaping plan that is acceptable to the permitting department and complies with the tree maintenance ordinance while also providing views desired by residents.

“This new plan will be jointly developed by our new arborist and landscape architect and DPP,” Scott said.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com