HPM Building Supply was ordered to immediately cease and desist all unpermitted activities at an illegal truss manufacturing site in Kōloa, according to a notice of violation issued to Maha‘ulepu Farm LLC by the Kaua‘i County Planning Department.
The HPM facility, located near the Old Kōloa Sugar Mill, was found to be operating without necessary permits following an inspection. The site is located on property owned by Maha‘ulepu Farm.
The Oct. 23 notice of violation could result in an initial fine of $10,000, with the possibility of an additional $10,000 civil fine for each day operations continue. As of Oct. 30, HPM was still operating the facility in direct violation of the order.
The Kauaʻi Planning Department said the “truss manufacturing facility is not a generally permitted use within the Agriculture Zoning District (and) operation of a truss manufacturing facility within the Agriculture Zoning District without the proper zoning permit(s) constitutes a violation.”
HPM had previously applied for and obtained permits from the Kaua‘i Planning Commission to operate a truss manufacturing facility on another property within the Agricultural Zoning District that neighbored the Old Kōloa Sugar Mill, but those permits were eventually revoked.
When community members and nonprofit construction advocacy firm Pacific Resource Partnership raised concerns to the Planning Commission that HPM was conducting illegal operations, the County started an investigation.
“Pacific Resource Partnership thanks the Kaua‘i Planning Department for issuing a notice of violation and cease and desist order, which sends a clear message to companies wanting to do business in Kaua‘i that no one is above the law,” said PRP Government Relations Manager Chris Delaunay.
Elizabeth Okinaka of the community group Save Kōloa said, “HPM has been illegally using this ag land without any permits, operating saws and noisy air guns as they build trusses and modular walls. What we need is for Grove Farm to bring back our small farmers, who used to lease their land to increase our food sustainability after sugar ended.”