Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff. Submit your own 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.
Q: I have been launching my canoe from Palauea Beach for over a decade. There were always at least three beach access paths. Now that two new houses are being built on the beach-front, that has changed. The northernmost path has been completely blocked by huge (minimum three feet by three feet) boulders, which have “Keep Out” painted on them. The boulders form a wall of about 15 feet across, completely stopping access. This just happened recently and it is not pono. Since I believe that the remaining lots at Palauea are owned by the County, what will be done? Additionally, I notice that across the street (mauka) from Palauea, residents have put out stones (small boulders) so that vehicles cannot park there. I have always understood these to be public parts of the street. In fact a few years back, many owners on Makena Road had to remove the big boulders they had placed on public property. Am I correct that these places are public, and if so, what will be done to keep access for the public? Mahalo.
A: There are many privately owned parcels along Palauea Beach. Some of these were undeveloped for years, making it appear as if there was open access to the beach from several areas along Makena Road, though such access was probably technically trespassing. If the “Keep Out” boulders are situated on private property, then they are lawful. The County owns two adjacent parcels at Palauea Beach, which would be the most appropriate and lawful way to access the beach. In terms of the boulders on the mauka side of Makena Road that prohibit parking, County staff will inspect the boulders and if they are in our right of way, take appropriate action.
Hi Mayor Arakawa,
Q: We live at Kihei villages along Piilani Highway where there’s a new construction site across the highway; I believe it’s going to be a subdivision of 600 units. During the last four months there have been several loads of fill trucked in and spread out. As we all know, the tradewinds blow pretty hard up through the valley, and prior to groundbreaking on this site we had the “normal” amount of dust blowing around. Since this project has started, the dust has tripled; our condos are taking a beating with the dust/dirt blowing around as well as into the units’ interior living areas. We have placed a County service request to review the issue. Well for what I’ve seen the matter seems to continue and this past week the tradewinds have been blowing extremely hard. Nothing like closing up the windows just so we can keep the majority of debris outside where it belongs—I’m really not looking forward to opening our electricity bill either due to the need to run our AC units when we would normally have our windows open this time of year. The interior of the condos are getting covered with the dirt/dust every day, and we have to do 3-4 hours of “deep-clean cleaning” every day. We’re at our wits’ end with this. Isn’t there a law requiring water be applied to new/ loose fresh grubbing zones when dust is visible and blowing across several acres? I know when we apply for a grubbing permit it is stressed to have water on site for “dust control” which we fulfill to the max. We ask you, what can be done? We are ready to submit cleaning bills to the developers or to the County. We hope to see something done with our concern/ issue ASAP. Looking forward hearing back.
A: Yes, this is something that the County Public Works Department handles through the grading permit it issues. It would be impossible to totally eliminate dust, but the contractor should be doing everything reasonable to mitigate it. Public Works staff have been notified about this dusty construction site and they have informed the contractor, who has implemented additional dust control measures. If needed, homeowners may file a claim with the contractor.
Q: When will the lights open at the basketball courts near Kahului School?
A: Our Parks Department said that the Kahului basketball courts were opened and the lights activated about a week ago. However, the lighting controls have already been vandalized several times since then so the district is looking into additional security measures before making more repairs.