Leilani Estates is a beautiful, rural subdivision in the Puna District on Hawai'i Island. The Leilani Community Association (LCA) provides well-maintained, paved roads, one-acre lots, an active Neighborhood Watch program, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and a volunteer Board of Directors.
There is a Community Center with a multipurpose Pavilion, playground, fitness trail, ball fields and meeting facilities. We have a variety of weekly activities and classes available to Leilani Estates residents.
Leilani Estates is close to Pahoa Town, a quaint town with an eclectic mixture of old and new. There is a variety of services, shopping and restaurants in Pahoa, including post office, banks, healthcare, an all-purpose community park and an olympic-sized swimming pool. Down the road to the ocean, the lava flows of 2018 have drastically altered the coast line and near shore environment. Where there once was surfing, fishing, and snorkeling, now there are fresh lava flows to view and newly created black sand beaches to relax on. Leilani Estates is approximately 30 minutes south of Hilo and an hour from Volcanoes National Park.
Check out the monthly activities and classes offered in Leilani Estates on the menu NEWS/EVENTS
Leilani Estates Community Calendar includes monthly meetings and events.
The Leilani Estates subdivision was formed in 1964. The name "Leilani" in Hawaiian means "royal child" or "heavenly lei". The Hawaiian name for the Leilani Estates subdivision area is Keahialaka.
In one of the many stories about Pele, the following is a literal translation of the account of her taking Kilauea:
“When Pele came to the island Hawaiʻi, she first stopped at a place called Keahialaka (Ke-ahi-a-Laka) in the district of Puna. From this place. she began her inland journey toward the mountains. As she passed on her way, there grew within her an intense desire to go at once and see ʻAilāʻau, the god to whom Kīlauea belonged, and find a resting-place with him as the end of her journey. She came up, but ʻAilāʻau was not in his house. Of a truth he had made himself thoroughly lost. He had vanished because he knew that this one coming toward him was Pele. He had seen her toiling down by the sea at Keahialaka. Trembling dread and heavy fear overpowered him. He ran away and was entirely lost. When Pele came to that pit she laid out the plan for her abiding home, beginning at once to dig up the foundations. She dug day and night and found that this place fulfilled all her desires. Therefore, she fastened herself tight to Hawaiʻi for all time.”
In the beginning (1960’s) a few land developers got together and created Leilani Estates. As most people on Hawaii Island know, there was little concern regarding the effort outside of profit.
On January 29, 1969, Edwin I Honda, Director of Regulatory Agencies, signed the Charter of Incorporation of Leilani Community Association for the petitioners, Richard Henderson, D. W. Rose, and Kenneth B Griffin, as a perpetual corporation under the laws of the State of Hawaii. Corporate Officers were named as: President, John La Plante; Secretary, Yutaka Imata; Vice President, Peter Shayne; and Treasurer, Kenneth Griffin.
The Charter of Incorporation sets forth what became law regarding what properties LCA included, as defined by Block and Lot numbers identified on the Plat Map approved by Hawaii County on February 15, 1960. (The map is available on the County’s website as s1458.tif.) The subdivision, called Leilani Estates, was created on land at Keahialaka, Puna, Hawaii for the owners Ramon Chiya, Kenneth Ing, and Maurice Takasaki, doing business as Hawaii Land Hui, a Limited Partnership, in Honolulu. The Plat includes all properties in what were to become Section 1 and LCA.
The creation of Leilani Community Association through the Charter of Incorporation sets forth a series of laws that the association is legally bound to follow on behalf of the owners of properties identified in the charter. All property owners are Members and own 1/2046th of the 501c4 of LCA, non-profit corporation. Some highlights of the Charter include:
· operate for general public social welfare and safety,
· to own, hold, repair and maintain all roads except Leilani Avenue, and maintain landscaping adjacent to all roads,
· to protect and promote civic betterments and social improvements for the good of the owners and including the provisions of the CC&Rs,
· receive and administer funds to conduct the above duties.
· there shall be a Board of Directors of three or more, since revised to seven.
The above is the legal description of what is currently referred to as Section 2 and operating as Leilani Community Association. While many residents of both Section 1 and LCA may not have read or understood the various documents that created and set forth the laws under which LCA must operate, we hope this description will make understanding LCA clearer. The Board of Directors of LCA make no decisions that are outside the bounds of the Charter, Bylaws, and CC&Rs, and are sometimes mandated to make decisions that do seem harsh or offensive. Board members could face personal liabilities if found to be not making decisions in accordance with LCA regulations.
So, forward to our current post-eruption status, decisions about protecting the safety and welfare of LCA Members/owners from looters, squatters, trespassers, and excessive tourists, is a mandated duty of our Board. They represent the 2046 LCA properties defined in the Charter. For reference, there are 214 properties in Section 1. Those owners do not have any legal ownership or control over their roadways. This status has existed since the Leilani Estates was platted in 1960.
Section 1, for decades could have made the choice to organize and improve their infrastructure but have chosen not to. They, however, need to understand that their decision may have not been the most prudent when faced with a disaster emergency such as Leilani Estates has just experienced. LCA has been more than willing to work with Section 1 but has been unanimously rebuffed. This response does not change the fact that LCA has to put in place protections against looting, squatting, trespassing, and excessive tourist activities on LCA or its Owner’s properties. It needs to be understood that LCA is only doing what they are mandated to do by their Charter.