Community wants beach access

HANALEI — Parking on the sand is part of life at Black Pot Beach and at Tuesday night’s meeting, it was a main concern as the community shared its thoughts about the new plan for developing the beach park.

The purpose of the master plan is to shape facility improvements over the next 20 years and the focus is on physical improvements, such as new facilities, landscaping and infrastructure.

“The North Shore is special but it’s not an easy place to live,” said Benny Ferris. “Black Pot Beach is one of the only places where you can go surf with an extra 10 minutes after work because it has easy access.”

About 150 people attended the Department of Parks and Recreation’s meeting at Hanalei Elementary School to collect public input.

Sailor DeCamp said she likes the easy access and the on-beach parking as well, because it makes access for paddle boarding a bit easier.

Louise Sausen said being able to park on the beach is “a way of life for us” and that she thinks locals especially should have access to that shore.

“Because we have these problems all over with beach parks, these parking problems, I think 24-7 residents should have a decal (for their car),” Sausen said.

Richard Casto, who has been living on the beaches between Lihue and Kee for five years, said he’s concerned about the increase of development springing up around the North Shore.

“We need to be spending money to help the kids and the community out, not money on development,” Casto said.

Scott Ezer, who has taken lead with the county Parks and Recreation Department on the project, said there have already been a few rounds of advisory committee and focus group meetings concerning the two plans that are being presented for the development of Black Pot Beach Park.

The first plan for the park includes one main turn around/drop-off area near the park entry and a small campers’ drop-off area near Weke Ramp. It also includes three bathrooms, two camping areas, a separate kayak/small vessel launch ramp at Weke Ramp, a canoe halau, 134 parking spaces, and 16 boat trailer parking spaces.

The second plan maintains the existing gateway, provides for two bathrooms and one camping area, a separate kayak/small vessel launch, 158 parking spaces, 14 boat spaces and a new boat ramp.

Both plans provide for 80 overflow parking spaces and require the removal of the ironwood trees on the beachfront, replacing them with palms.

The County of Kauai Parks and Recreation Department is accepting comments on the project in a variety of ways until Aug. 31.

Email comments and questions to PlanBlackPotBeachPark@hhf.com and get more information, as well as view the plans for the two development options at blackpotplan.com or on Facebook.

Written comments can be sent to HFF Planners 733 Bishop Street, Suite 2590 Honolulu, HI 96813.

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