Maui County files eminent domain complaint against Komar Maui Properties for landfill expansion

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The Maui County Department of Environmental Management filed a complaint in 2nd Circuit Court on Tuesday to condemn nearly 20 acres next to the Central Maui Landfill for final disposal of ash and debris from the Lahaina wildfire. PC: County of Maui

The Maui County Department of Environmental Management filed a complaint Tuesday in 2nd Circuit Court for condemnation of nearly 20 acres of former quarry land next to the Central Maui Landfill in Puʻunēnē.

The land is being sought for the expansion of the landfill and for the final disposal of hazardous ash and debris from the Lahaina wildfire disaster. For now, the US Army Corps of Engineers is clearing Lahaina properties and having truckloads hauled to a temporary disposal site at Olowalu.

The complaint says Maui County seeks to exercise its power of eminent domain to condemn and acquire property owned by Komar Maui Properties for public use upon payment of just compensation. A judge will determine the amount of compensation based on evidence from Maui County and the landowner.


Since at least 2017, the county has tried to acquire 19.66 acres, known as Lot 1B, from Komar, which bought the property in December 2015 from Alexander & Baldwin for $700,000. On Feb. 13, ACM Consultants Inc. appraised the property value at $830,000. In July, the County offered to pay $1 million for the property, according to Department of Environmental Management Director Shayne Agawa.

The property owners, as defendants, have 10 days to respond to the civil complaint, and the county has the option to file a motion for immediate possession of the property.

Andy Naden, executive vice president and general counsel of Komar Investments, responded to Maui Now’s request for comment saying: “We were expecting this action for the past month. The County has been determined to acquire all 20 acres of our land and we are equally determined to protect the land that is not needed for Lahaina. It is important that we separate the two issues here:  the emergency proclamation to take care of fire debris that is choking off Lahaina town and the long-term planning that the mayor has stated is his priority. Komar is interested in helping Lahaina in their time of need. Maui County seems more interested in taking care of their municipal solid waste needs down the road. Let’s all pitch in to help Lahaina so they can go home.”


Maui County had no comment Wednesday afternoon.

Ultimately, a judge will decide how much the county should pay for the property and any damages incurred by Komar. After payment of the judge’s compensation award to Komar, the county is seeking title to the property.

After the Maui County Council authorized the condemnation action on April 5, an affiliate of Komar Investments filed a complaint in US District Court for declaratory and injunctive relief against the county’s filing of an eminent domain proceeding.


Komar’s lawsuit in federal court seeks to prevent the County from taking more land than the property owner judges is necessary to dispose of the Lahaina fire debris until further environmental review is completed. On April 8, Komar made an offer to the County of Maui for five acres of the parcel to accommodate all 400,000 cubic yards of the Lahaina fire ash and debris for permanent disposal.

Representatives of Maui County and Komar Maui Properties responded after publication and this post was updated accordingly.

Brian Perry
Brian Perry worked as a staff writer and editor at The Maui News from 1990 to 2018. Before that, he was a reporter at the Pacific Daily News in Agana, Guam. From 2019 to 2022, he was director of communications in the Office of the Mayor.
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