Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: Is it legal for a mobile pet grooming service to leave their engine running for two hours, parked on the street in a residential neighborhood? The noise and stink exhaust fumes from the van’s motor were choking out the neighborhood on a Sunday morning, and the van wasn’t even parked on their client’s driveway but on the roadway. It wouldn’t be so bad if, like mobile carpet cleaning operations, they came once in a blue moon but this mobile pet grooming service comes to the same house every couple weeks for about two hours each time. Besides being a huge nuisance for the neighbors, is this even legal? Thanks for looking into this.
A: This is a rather complex situation. While the pet grooming van (or other mobile service vehicles, for that matter) may be providing a useful service for your neighbor, according to Hawaii Revised Statutes section 264-101 it is not allowed to cause a hazardous condition or public nuisance. The vehicle’s exhaust and noise could be viewed as a public nuisance, but the term is rather broad in its scope. It is defined by the Hawaii Supreme Court as “that which unlawfully annoys or does damage to another, anything that works hurt, inconvenience, or damage, anything which annoys or disturbs one in the free use, possession or enjoyment of his property or which renders its ordinary use or physical occupation uncomfortable, and anything wrongfully done or permitted which injures or annoys another in the enjoyment of his legal rights.” Additionally, a public nuisance “must occur in a public place, or where the public frequently congregates, or where members of the public are likely to come within the range of its influence.” If after reading all that you still feel the van is a “public nuisance,” it would probably be a good idea to talk with your neighbor first before calling the Police or filing a complaint with the County.
Aloha e Mayor Arakawa,
Q: I would like to know if there can be more facilities at the Pukalani Park. Our children, youth, and teens do not have much to do and it would be wonderful to have a skate park incorporated in the park. As it is now the kids ride on the roads, which is so dangerous.
A: I’m pleased to report that design drawings have already begun for skate park facilities Upcountry, and on Molokai and Lanai. The Upcountry location will be determined with input from the community meetings our Parks department will be holding on each island. For all the details on the community meetings and skatepark locations on Molokai and Lanai, visit www.mauicounty.gov and click on the News Center tab to view the press release.
Q: The civil defense siren at the corner of Uluniu and W. Lipoa in Kihei has been inoperative for about a year and a half. A year ago, April 2014, I was told by Maui Civil Defense that the County would not repair the siren because the state was in the process of upgrading our sirens. Would someone please take action to repair or upgrade this vital warning device? We are 300 feet from the water and would appreciate some warning time before the next emergency.
A: Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), which owns and maintains the statewide system of outdoor warning sirens, dispatched technicians to Maui to troubleshoot the Lipoa siren. Upon investigation the technicians determined that the siren is irreparable. The state is currently undergoing a statewide siren modernization project, and the siren you are referencing is scheduled for replacement. The County, along with the State of Hawaii, is working through permitting issues to ensure compliance. Please be assured that our Maui Civil Defense Agency (MCDA) is aware of the inoperable siren and has made preparations for alternate public notifications, if needed, by utilizing our partner agencies (Civil Air Patrol, Maui Police Department and CERT volunteers). In the meantime, I encourage you to sign up for Civil Defense notifications at www.mauicounty.gov.CivilDefense so you can receive email and/or text messages on hazardous conditions.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.