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Council to discuss Ka‘u land purchase at meeting

April 14, 2014 - 12:05am

The Hawaii County Council’s Finance Committee will discuss purchasing 1,264 acres in Ka‘u for public use Tuesday.

The lands mainly run from Mamalahoa Highway to the coastline near Naalehu.

EWM Enterprises LP of Las Vegas purchased the lands in 2009.

They have a combined market value of $3,085,000 and a net taxable value of $530,900, according to county records.

They are listed for sale for $10.8 million, according to the proposed resolution.

The Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission’s 2012 report said the owner is willing to sell the property to the county for preservation.

The report ranked the properties as No. 4 on its list of lands to acquire for public use.

An independent appraiser would determine the purchase price.

The commission didn’t list the properties in its 2013 report.

The 2012 report states that a 50-lot luxury estate subdivision was in the planning stages for the lands.

The report also states the lands include 444 surveyed archaeological sites dating from early Hawaiian settlements through World War II.

Those sites contain more than 3,900 features, including enclosures, mounds, platforms, walls, salt pans, walled terraces, trails, petroglyphs, papamu, heiau, a refuge cave, ceremonial sites and at least 28 burial sites.

They also include four miles of undeveloped shoreline vistas, with extensive fishing and ocean resources.

The lands are mostly used by campers, fishermen, and opihi pickers for recreation and subsistence purposes, according to the resolution.

The lands, which would be named Kaunamano-Honuapo Park if purchased, also abuts Honuapo Bay.

Email Tom Callis at