Wildfires destroyed Lahaina. Now Hawaii officials are trying to ward off outsiders from scooping up properties on the cheap in the popular tourist destination.

Gov. Josh Green said Wednesday he is working on a sales moratorium for damaged and destroyed properties. He acknowledged it may face legal challenges.

“My intention from start to finish is to make sure that no one is victimized from a land grab,” Green said at a news briefing Wednesday.

“People are right now traumatized,” said Green. “Please don’t approach them with an offer to buy land. Please don’t approach their families to tell them that they are going to be better off if they make a deal, because we’re not going to allow it.”

This is from Joseph Pisani and Ginger Adams Otis, “Lahaina Worries About Real-Estate Speculators After Fire Destruction,” Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2023.

Josh Green, Democrat governor of Hawaii, seems to think the the best way to deal with traumatized people is to prevent them from exercising one of their most important options connected to the trauma: selling their land and starting over.

Later in the article:

Green said he and Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen are considering temporarily blocking permit-issuing as a protective measure.

Seriously? Permits to build? And that protects people who lost their property?