County seeks input on areas to be preserved, protected

LIHU‘E — The public is invited to share their ideas during community meetings on the six sites recommended for acquisition by the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund Commission in its 2010 annual report to the county.

Commission members are eager to hear the public’s perspective on possible strategies for protection and/or acquisition of these sites that will assist the county with its Open Space Fund planning, a county news release states.

The meetings will be held as follows:

• Tuesday, Oct. 11, 6 to 7:30 p.m. – Salt Pond Park, main pavilion

Recommendations to be discussed: restoration and expansion of shoreline access from Lawa‘i Kai to Port Allen and the Salt Pond Beach Park expansion for the protection of the Hanapepe salt pans, mauka and west and buffer area.

• Wednesday, Oct. 12, 6 to 7:30 p.m. – Po‘ipu Beach Park, main pavilion

Recommendations to be discussed: Kaneiolouma Heiau Complex preservation area expansion (south), also known as the Nukomoi Surf Shop property; Po‘ipu Beach Park expansion (west) at 2179 Ho‘one Road; and access to Kukui‘ula Bay through the former Hoban property.

•  Wednesday, Oct. 19, 5 to 7 p.m. – Lihu‘e Civic Center, Mo‘ikeha Building, Rm. 2A and B

Recommendation to be discussed: proposed Piwai (‘Oma‘o) recreation area.

Throughout the month of October, the public also has the opportunity to participate in the Open Space Commission’s annual survey to make new suggestions on lands or property entitlements such as access-ways that the county should consider purchasing or otherwise acquiring.

The survey can be accessed and completed online at www.kauai.gov/openspacesurvey.

Paper copies of the survey are available at any public library or neighborhood center or at the Planning Department.

The deadline to complete the online survey and paper surveys is Oct. 31.

Completed surveys can be faxed to the Planning Department at 241-6699, dropped off or mailed to the County of Kaua‘i Planning Department, Open Space Commission, 4444 Rice Street, Suite 473A, Lihu’e, HI 96766.

Ideas expressed in the survey will be taken into consideration and may be incorporated in the Commission’s annual recommendations to the County Council on which sites should be acquired using the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund.

Public testimony is also welcomed at the commission’s meetings, which are normally held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month in the Mo‘ikeha Building, Meeting Rm. 2A and B.

To qualify for purchase or acquisition using the Open Space Fund, sites suggested must meet at least one or more of the following purposes:

• Outdoor recreation/education, including access to beaches and mountains.

• Preservation of historically or culturally important lands and sites.

• Protection of significant habitats or ecosystems, including buffer zones.

• Preservation of forests, beaches, coastal areas and agricultural lands.

• Protection of watershed lands to preserve water quality and water supply.

• Conservation of land in order to reduce erosion, floods, landslides and runoff.

• Improve public access to, and enjoyment of, public land.

• Acquire public access to public land and open space.

The Open Space Commission was created in 2003 by the County Council following an overwhelming vote by Kaua‘i residents to establish the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund in the 2002 elections, the release states.

The fund receives one-half of one percent of the County’s annual real property tax revenues.

For more information or to request materials in an alternate format or an auxiliary aid in order to participate in the Commission meetings, contact the Planning Department at 241-4050 at least five days before the respective meeting.

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