No parking zones in Koloa get green light

LIHUE — The Kauai County Council unanimously approved Wednesday establishing no parking zones along a stretch of Ho’onani Road in Koloa.

“I have no problems trying this in the name of safety,” said Councilman Ross Kagawa.

The resolution was initiated by Chip Bahouth, general manager of Sheraton Kauai, who said there are safety concerns because that’s an area where employees park and loading trucks operate.

That area is also near the work cafeteria as well as a back entrance into the ballroom, Bahouth said.

“So you have a lot of movement from associates going to the cafeteria, as well as banquet staff going in and out,” he said.

Over the last couple years, there have been “near misses” with people almost getting hit by cars, Bahouth added.

To minimize that danger, the Public Works Department introduced Resolution No. 2017-35, which seeks to post no parking signs at the intersection of Ho’onani and Kapilli roads.

The resolution will add about 60 feet of no parking zones. The zones are separated by piece of road that has enough room for about three parking stalls.

The resolution takes away five parking stalls, which are mostly utilized by employees of the hotel, Bahouth said.

Kagawa asked if taking away parking options would have an effect on Kauai residents who want to surf and visit the beach.

“We have to be careful of public needs,” he said.

The separation of the parking zones by an area that allows parking is sufficient, said Lyle Tabata, acting county engineer.

“We’re trying to minimize parking removal, based on what we thought was important for the safety of the loading dock,” said Michael Moule, chief of the engineering division. “Removing parking is controversial, and we try to limit the use of it when necessary.”

Councilman Mason Chock said the conversation is part of a bigger discussion about parking frustrations in Poipu and Koloa.

“We need to look at the big picture and look at it from different angles to effectively solve parking problems,” said Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura.

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