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Mark Zuckerberg is dropping his Hawaiian land lawsuits, calling them ‘a mistake’

Zuckerberg is trying to formally acquire a 700-acre plot on the island of Kauai, but angered his new neighbors.

Mark Zuckerberg attendes Mobile World Congress 2015 David Ramos / Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is dropping a number of lawsuits in Hawaii initially filed so he could formally purchase small plots of land that fell inside a larger 700-acre plot he and wife Priscilla Chan bought on the island of Kauai for more than $100 million back in 2014.

The lawsuits, called quiet title actions, are used to properly identify the legal owners of property and force them to sell the land at auction, according to the Honolulu Star Advisor.

In Hawaii, this can apparently be difficult, given that many parcels of land have been passed down through multiple generations and a number of descendants can claim ownership. Earlier this week, Zuckerberg described the lawsuits as a way to ensure he could “find all these partial owners so we can pay them their fair share.”

In an op-ed published in a local Kauai newspaper Friday, Zuckerberg backed away from that plan and called the decision to file these lawsuits “a mistake.”

“Upon reflection, I regret that I did not take the time to fully understand the quiet title process and its history before we moved ahead,” he wrote. “Now that I understand the issues better, it's clear we made a mistake. We will continue to speak with community leaders that represent different groups, including native Hawaiians and environmentalists, to find the best path.”

It’s unclear what that process will look like.

Zuckerberg acquired the land as a personal home, but also because he says he cares about preserving the environment and local wildlife. Local Hawaiians aren’t thrilled with Zuckerberg’s plan, and hundreds were planning to march this weekend in protest of Zuckerberg and his private residence, according to Business Insider.

This isn’t the first property dispute Zuckerberg has had. He also recently settled a dispute regarding his Palo Alto home and angered some of his San Francisco neighbors with “long construction” projects.

Here’s Zuckerberg’s post from earlier this week.

There have been some misleading stories going around today about our plans in Hawaii, so I want to clear this up. I...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, January 19, 2017

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