After receiving input last month, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has agreed on a land transfer of approximately 80 acres from the federal government as provided by the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act (HHLRA) of 1995, Public Law 104-42.
The property is the site of the former Pacific Tsunami Warning Center near the end of Fort Weaver Road in ʻEwa Beach, Oʻahu.
Congress authorized the transfer of government surplus land to the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust in 1995 with the enactment of the HHLRA.
The HHLRA intended to provide, in part, for the settlement of claims against the United States through the exchange and transfer of federal lands for the United States’ continued retention of lands initially designated as available lands under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, and for the lost use of such lands.
It is anticipated that this conveyance would utilize $10 million of a $16.9 million land credit that the Hawaiian Home Lands trust has with the federal government stemming from an expected transfer of a 47-acre Waipahū FCC Monitoring Station that was not provided to DHHL by an Aug. 31, 2000 deadline.
Since the enactment of the HHLRA, nearly 900 acres of federal lands have been transferred to DHHL.
The ʻEwa Beach parcel would represent the first transfer of lands that are suitable for homesteading. The property is near water, sewage, and electrical infrastructure with paved roads and an existing residential community. All previous HHLRA land transfers have been in commercial or industrial areas that DHHL and its beneficiaries have designated for revenue-generating purposes through the Department’s island planning process.
From late February through mid-March, DHHL and the Department of the Interior Office of Native Hawaiian Relations sought input from Hawaiian Homes Commission Act beneficiaries and Native Hawaiian organizations through a digital presentation and follow-up survey.
Once the land transfer has been completed, DHHL will request funding from the Legislature for master planning purposes and begin beneficiary consultation to determine the appropriate land use.
Cedric R. Duarte is the Information & Community Relations Officer for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. He has worked in communications and marketing since 1999 and is a longtime event organizer. A product of the Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, he resides in ʻAiea with his wife and two daughters.