State takes parasailing plan to public; first meeting Thursday

LIHU’E — The state is considering a proposal to bring parasailing to

Kaua’i.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating

and Ocean Recreation will hold two public meetings this month to provide

information about the proposal.

The first meeting will be held at Koloa

School Cafeteria from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday.

A second meeting is scheduled

for the Kekaha Neighborhood Center from 7 to 10 p.m. on May 18.

The idea

for commercial parasailing surfaced eight years ago, but died due to concerns

about commercial Jet Ski operations.

Jeremy Hillstrom and his family

revived the idea about five years ago and currently have a petition before the

DLNR division to run parasailing operations in Kaua’i waters.

Vaughan

Tyndzik, Kaua’i Boating Division district manager, said the DLNR is looking at

creating parasailing zones along 10 miles of coastline from Makaokahai Point

off the Kalaheo shoreline to Kawelikoa Point in Koloa.

The two zones —

each about five miles in length — would be located between 1/4 to 1/2 mile

from shore, Tyndzik said.

Only two parasailing businesses will be allowed

to operate in the zones at any one time.

“Our intention in the future is to

have four permits and see how the operations work,” Tyndzik said. “We plan to

offer two or three permits at this time.”

The permits will be awarded

through a public auction.

Hillstrom said he and his family proposed

commercial parasailing five years ago and that it would be unfair to award the

permit to the highest bidder.

“We are upset about out it,” Hillstrom said.

“We did all the groundwork, and we pushed it this far. Now we won’t be able to

do it.”

Hillstrom said the DLNR should given preference to a Kaua’i

business.

“We would hope they would give us preference, since we brought it

up, and we are a Kaua’i family,” Hillstrom said.

Tyndzik said he personally

supports that concept, but state laws doesn’t allow for such

consideration.

“Personally, I would love to have the local guy get the

shot, but the law comes into play,” Tyndzik said.

“The process and

procedure by how the permit is won is a function of the law.”

But even

after the permits are awarded, the parasailing operators will have a hard time

starting up, Tyndzik said.

There are no commercial boat spaces available at

any of the small board harbors on Kaua’i, he said.

They include

Nawiliwili, Kikiaola, Kukuiula and Port Allen harbors, which fall under the

jurisdiction of the DLNR Boating Division.

Whoever gets the permits will

have to link up with commercial boat businesses that currently have state

permits allowing them to operate at small boat harbors, Tyndzik said.

Hillstrom is attempting to obtain a state permit for operations at

Kukuiula and Port Allen harbors, Tyndzik said.

Once the rules for

commercial parasailing on Kaua’i are drafted, the DLNR Boating Division will

ask the Land Board to hold a public hearing on the proposed rules. The Land

Board will then act on the proposal.

Commercial parasailing already is

conducted on Mau’i, the Big Island and O’ahu, according to Hillstrom.

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