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October 1991

November 1991

Press Release / Press Conference -- September 19, 1991
Letter to the Editor - Star Bulletin - 10/16/91 (Arlene Ellis)
Traffic Alternatives Video Showing
Letter from the Editor - Star Bulletin - 9/18/91 (John E. Simonds)
Testimony at City Council Public Hearing on Bill 112
Leasehold Conversion Study
Urgent! Help Needed for Vote Count
Pro-Choice Rally
Charter Review Consensus

Leasehold Conversion Study

Attorney Bruce Dinman was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Honolulu Leasehold Conversion Study Committee on October 8. The Committee chaired by Jim Koshi, decided that with the recent developments in this field, i.e., Bishop Estate's offer of voluntary conversions of land for singleĀ¬-family homes and condominiums at astronomical prices, we should invite individuals actively involved in leasehold conversion and related issues to come to speak to us about the problems involved, implications and consequences, and actions needed to correct this situation.

Mr. Dinman pointed out that historically, leaseholds started out with single family homes, followed by cooperatives and finally the condominiums after 1961 when the condominium law was passed. He spoke of the land reform act of 1967 and of how it took 20 years of going through the courts before the sales finally started to take place. He pointed out that the quandary was that it is not fair to force lessors to sell, and it is not fair to force lessees to move out. Simply stated, the system is at fault. The rising land values which is at the core of the problem is simply the product of the law of supply and demand. He pointed out the need to open up zoning to development in cheaper land areas. He concluded that in Hawaii, with limited land, leaseholds just don't work. There should be a law -- no more leaseholds for homes.

In the discussion that followed, we agreed that action must be taken to stop the spiraling cost of land.

On October 15, Attorney James Mee was the speaker. He pointed out that the great majority of condominium and cooperative landowners are small landowners. That is, they own only one parcel of land. Small landowners feel that it is very unfair to single them out as somehow being culprits for the current housing and rental crisis. Mr. Mee doubts that any law passed to control rent through mandatory conversion would stand the test of the courts. He also doubts that laws would promote affordability of the condos and co-ops.

The following speakers are scheduled to meet with us at the League office at noon:

Oct. 23 -- Richard Port, representing the lessee's position.

Oct 30 -- Oswald Stender, Bishop Estate trustee

The issues are extremely complex, and adequate study will require a good deal of time and many volunteers. Please come to take part in the discussions. All interested are welcome.

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