Neighbor appeals Waimea subdivision

  • Brian Kilb, a witness for Carol Adelkoff, points out plat lines between her property and that of her neighbors, Douglas and Ruth Dick. (Nancy Cook Lauer/West Hawaii Today)

HILO — A small Waimea subdivision is causing big problems for a neighbor, who says work on the property is making her land flood.

The County Council in 2013 rezoned the property at 64-617 Mamalahoa Highway from Agriculture 5 acres to Family Agriculture 2 acres. Douglas and Ruth Dick intended to split their 5 acres into two 2.5-acre lots.


Carol Adelkoff, whose property is makai of the Dicks’ land and is accessed through a driveway easement along the Dicks’ property, appealed the planning director’s decision to allow the subdivision. She claimed it would cause issues with access to their own property, a so-called “flag lot,” as well as flooding caused by runoff.

The 2013 ordinance rezoning the property specifies that, “All development-generated runoff shall be disposed of on site and shall not be directed toward any adjacent properties.”

Attorney Leinaala Ley, representing Adelkoff, said that wasn’t done.

“There are rules in place to protect neighboring landowners,” Ley said.

But attorney Thomas Yeh, representing the Dicks, said Adelkoff doesn’t have a case.

“There are no drainage issues,” Yeh said. “This case is about exaggeration and creation of issues that don’t exist.”

The county Board of Appeals on Friday began what is expected to be several days of testimony in a quasi-judicial proceeding to decide the issue.

Much of Friday was taken up with witnesses who described and showed photos of flooding of Adelkoff’s property, saying it was most pronounced in the summer of 2016. Flooding during that time reached 15-18 inches in Adelkoff’s yard, requiring her to have sandbags placed around her doors, said witness Brian Kilb.


Deputy Planning Director Daryn Arai, speaking in general about neighbors’ complaints during the subdivision and rezoning process, said neighbors’ complaints are taken into account by the Planning Department.

“The very least means we should investigate the concerns,” Arai told the board. “We would assess whether any actions or requirements should be made. Former Director (Duane) Kanuha responded to this request.”