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Litigation Updates

The City Council's vote to demolish the iconic Haʻikū Stairs came despite an overwhelming public outcry to save the Stairs. In the preceding two years, 5,000+ public comments were submitted with more than 90% favoring preservation. A professional public opinion poll in April 2022 confirmed that a clear majority of O‘ahu residents want to save the Stairs, not destroy them. The Stairs are a historic World War II monument eligible for the National Historic Register. They offer a unique, world-class hiking experience, treasured for generations. It would be tragic to lose them. 

We are actively pushing to block demolition on multiple fronts. 

Aug

2021

The Honolulu City Council votes to demolish the iconic Haʻikū Stairs.

Aug 2023

The Friends of Haʻikū Stairs files a lawsuit against the City seeking a court order to halt the planned demolition of the Stairs on environmental grounds (read the lawsuit here).

The City announces they have awarded a $2.6 million contract to Nakoa Companies, Inc. for removal of the Stairs, despite the open lawsuit.​

Dec 2023

The Circuit Court rules against the Friends of Haʻikū Stairs. 

Feb 2024

The Friends of Haʻikū Stairs files an appeal of their lawsuit against the City, asking the Court of Appeals to allow the case against the City to move forward.

Apr 2024

The City gives a formal blessing to the contractor to begin demolition of the Stairs immediately.

The Friends of Haʻikū Stairs files a second lawsuit against the City seeking a court order to halt the planned demolition of the Stairs on historic preservations claims, and requests and receives a temporary injunction until an evidentiary hearing in May. 

May 2024

The Circuit Court denies the request to stop demolition following an evidentiary hearing. 

The Friends of Haʻikū Stairs presents an appeal to the Hawaii Historic Places Review Board asking them to revoke the State Historic Preservation Department's approval of the City's demolition of the Stairs.

Two weeks later, the Board informs the FHS they are unable to issue a ruling because they lack the required minimum number of voting members, who can only be appointed by the governor. 

June 2024

The Friends of Haʻikū Stairs files a new legal motion asking for an injunction pending appeal. 

The Friends of Haʻikū Stairs calls upon Gov. Josh Green to overrule or suspend the City's demolition permit until the Historic Review Board is able to reach quorum. More than 400 community members attend a FHS-organized protest to support preservation of the Stairs and sign a letter to Green. 

The Appellate Court orders the City to halt any further demolition work until the Intermediate Court of Appeals rules on the appeal of our first lawsuit. 

July 2024

The Intermediate Court of Appeals grants an injunction until further notice while our lawsuit with the City moves forward.

The Friends of Haʻikū Stairs is a 100% volunteer organization with one paid lawyer representing us. Please consider donating to our legal defense fund so we may continue our battle to save the Stairs.
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