PROCLAMATION RELATING TO UNCLE BILLY’S HILO BAY HOTEL
from Office of the Governor, July 18, 2023
By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Hawai’i, in order to provide relief for disaster damages, losses, and suffering, and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people, I, JOSH GREEN, M.D., Governor of the State of Hawai’i, hereby determine, designate and proclaim as follows:
WHEREAS, pursuant to Chapter 1 27A, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), emergency powers are conferred on the Governor of the State of Hawai’i to respond to disasters or emergencies, to maintain the strength, resources, and economic life of the community, and to protect the public health, safety, and welfare;
WHEREAS, the State owns multiple properties along Banyan Drive in Hilo, of which many are leased for hotel and resort purposes. These include the property at issue in this Proclamation, which is identified as tax map key numbers (3) 2-1-005:033, 034, 035, and 045 (“property”). The State previously leased the property to hotel operators under long-term ground leases which expired on March 14, 2016, after which tenancy continued on a month-to-month basis;
WHEREAS, a 146-room hotel was built on the property between 1966 and 1970. The hotel was commonly known as Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel (“hotel”);
WHEREAS, the hotel is located in close proximity to the ocean;
WHEREAS, after the ground leases expired, the State became the owner of the hotel and all improvements that had been built on the property;
WHEREAS, the hotel ceased operating on June 19, 2017, and the last month-tomonth tenant vacated in August 2020. Prior to the cessation of operations, the condition of the hotel had deteriorated as the result of deferred and ignored maintenance needs. No significant repairs or maintenance have been performed on the hotel since June 2017;
WHEREAS, the property is now abandoned because the hotel cannot safely be repaired and the property is dangerous.
WHEREAS, the condition of the property and hotel has attracted trespassers, enabled drug use, fighting, and other illegal activities, and experienced numerous fires. The Hawaii Police Department has responded to 6,479 calls for service/incidents in the area from September 2018 to April 2023, with an estimated cost for responding to these calls ranges from $319,000 to $459,000. The Hawaii Fire Department has responded to 946 calls for service/incidents in the Banyan Drive Peninsula from May2018 to May 2023, for a cost estimate of $122,000. The State Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement has also conducted numerous sweeps and enforcement actions at the property from 2018 to 2023. The condition of the property presents dangers to trespassers and law enforcement officials alike;
WHEREAS, despite regular security presence, the lack of repairs, maintenance, and operations has contributed to unsafe, unhealthy, and hazardous conditions at the property and abandoned hotel. These include overall structural decay, unabated hazardous materials, fire damage, water intrusion, falling ceilings, exposed rebar, overflowing sewage, mold, and mildew. These unsafe and unhealthy conditions endanger the lives of members of the public, adjoining hotel patrons, and trespassers, as well as law enforcement officers and other first responders who have responded frequently to service/incident calls to the property;
WHEREAS, the property’s proximity to the ocean presents ocean and ground water pollution risks should the condition remain unabated;
WHEREAS, to address the continued trespass, other illegal activities, and unsafe and unhealthy conditions at the property, the State must urgently: (1) build a perimeter fence to physically secure the property; (2) demolish and remove the hotel structures and hazardous materials, as repair was determined to be infeasible in an architectural assessment completed for the property, and in any event cannot be completed in time to reduce the public health and safety risks; and (3) restoration of the site, including hazard abatement all to the extent permitted by the available funds.
WHEREAS, the conditions at the property and hotel will likely result in substantial injury or harm to the population, substantial damage to or loss of property, and substantial damage to or loss of the environment, and therefore constitute an emergency under section 127A-2, HRS; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSH GREEN, M.D., Governor of the State of Hawai’i, hereby determine and proclaim that an emergency or disaster contemplated by section 1 27A-14, HRS, has occurred in the County of Hawaii, State of Hawaii. I hereby authorize and invoke the following emergency provisions, if not already effective by virtue of this Proclamation…
read … Full Proclamation
HTH: Governor signs emergency proclamation for Uncle Billy’s hotel
KHON: What’s going to happen with Uncle Billy’s in Hilo?