Parks director explains Black Pot parking lot decisions

Mahalo for the public’s patience while we continue to improve our facilities at Black Pot after the flood. As we embark on our public planning process concerning additional improvements at the park, we know there have been questions concerning the material choice and maintenance of the parking lot surface.

Before undertaking repairs with emergency funds, parks personnel sought input from community members, the county Department of Planning and a coastal geologist.

Although we had desired a hardened parking lot surface for ease of maintenance, there was an overwhelming amount of support between all parties which advocated for a pervious, crushed-coral surface instead in order to reduce runoff into the bay.

Further, the design of the surface was without a sub-base material due to this parking lot’s close proximity to the bay and river, as well as being within a designated Special Management Area.

To explain further, Black Pot Beach Park is very susceptible to heavy rains with frequent flooding, and there was a strong desire to limit foreign elements, such as various-size aggregate and concrete mix material, from ending up in the ocean and river.

The decision to use only sand as a base is consistent with other SMA approvals for “fill” material of residential house lots and driveways near the park. The desire for crushed coral was also predominant in our discussions surrounding the remediation of our Ha‘ena Beach Park parking-lot surface.

Through our decision-making process we cautioned interested stakeholders of our concerns regarding the routine maintenance of the parking lot and our potential difficulties to provide timely service, given that our maintenance crews assigned to Black Pot also have a span of responsibility that reaches between Anahola to Ke‘e, and some island-wide.

However, at the end of the day, the information gathered addressing environmental concerns were most important to the community and the county, which is what dictated the present design.

We can revisit all of the pros and cons of the various surface types as part of the master plan process. However, changes may trigger additional permitting and environmental considerations.



Patrick T. Porter is director of the county Department of Parks & Recreation.

  1. Anahola Paul February 6, 2020 6:00 am Reply

    Patrick Porter. Thank you for your timely feedback and your concern.

    I am looking for the smartest guy in the room to find a solution; not a community decision. In situations that require seasoned engineers, surveyors, materials scientists, a geologist and construction supervisors; I listen to the experts only. Yes, the community has input, but using a crushed-coral surface will not support hundreds of cars a day. I am not an engineer, but I have recently used crushed coral on my personal driveway and it began to show wear after one year with just one car going backwards and forward to park. Also, I found immediate sediment run-off on the driveway from our rains. It was a good idea for me on pricing, but if would be the absolute wrong solution for the hundreds of folks that use Blacks Pot Beach Park. Especially, if there were no maintenance folks to monitor and repair. Again, listen to the experts and do it the right way and pay for it with parking meters from our mainland visitors that drive all those rental cars.

    Patrick, what is your materials solution?

    1. Steve Martin February 10, 2020 1:42 pm Reply

      You mentioned parking meters. Great idea for ALL vehicles not just tourists. Maintenance and infrastructure is not FREE and everyone should pay to use our facilities. Should never be selective enforcement period.

      1. Anahola Paul February 26, 2020 4:57 am Reply

        Why not just tourists? Waimea Canyon State Park charges NON-HAWAII RESIDENT VEHICLES $5.00 I think that works pretty well. Our parks need constant up keep and we need for the money to stay in Kauai and not Honolulu…..

  2. Rev Dr. Malama February 6, 2020 7:00 am Reply

    He said NOTHING….. the parking, drainage and access for All is terrible and possibly lawsuit worthy.
    Another total fail from the fake County of Kauai at good people’s expense!

  3. Charlie Cowden February 6, 2020 7:09 am Reply

    There is so much that is nice about the new park layout. Just needs some fine tuning.

    One of the sad, unintended consequences of Black Pot’s new design is that it has displaced some of the locals that in the past visited Black Pot everyday. It was always easy to drive down to the end of the sand bar and find parking even on the busiest of days. Front and center, you were just able to pull up and park. Most of the time you knew the owners of the cars you parked between. Somehow the tourists never really ended up parking down there. There was always a small community group around the cars, under the pine trees, sitting, checking the surf, talking, eating, drinking, whatever. You knew these people. They were your community.

    Now, with the exception of the surfers, most of the sandbar locals are gone. Locals drive down and find they have to park far away from where they used to hang. Maybe they’re too lazy to walk, maybe they just can’t see if any of their friends are there, but they no longer go there. Displaced. Really sad is how this part of our community is now disconnected. Sure, some still see each other around town, but others probably never do.

    I think the community should further explore the idea of using the old canoe club as a new gathering area for the locals. Not the same as beachfront, but easy to access adjacent available parking. Easy parking, easy access.

    1. dave calhoun February 7, 2020 7:01 am Reply

      As a tourist who visits 1-2 times a year I completely agree with you. I’ve always enjoyed the mix of locals and tourists at Black Pot. It’s nice to see the people who live there enjoying the shade of the trees, music, bbq, and time to visit. I especially enjoy seeing the kids jumping off the pier into the water and people fishing. On my most recent visit all I saw were tourists and it just didn’t have the same feeling. Everything changes and maybe Black Pot’s time has simply passed but I am disappointed and a little sad.

      Your idea of using the canoe club area for locals seems like a really good one. The county already owns the land (I know that’s complicated also) so maybe parking permits could be issued for locals to use that area exclusively or a club membership could be created. I just want people who live on Kauai to retain access to Black Pot.

  4. dawg2000 February 6, 2020 8:14 am Reply

    You ruined Black Pot. Before, most of the parking was on the sand, which discouraged tourists from parking there. Now all the parking is available to everyone, so tourists take up most of it. It was a place for locals to fish, surf, and hang out while keiki play in the gentle waves and jump off the pier. Now its a tourist destination with the area around the pier crowded like Waikiki beach.

  5. Mailman Mike February 6, 2020 8:54 am Reply

    Makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

  6. Debra Kekaualua February 6, 2020 9:13 am Reply

    Wait what? The planning of permanent hard surfaces, since there is this one of many issues at Black Pot, cannot be cleared. Why?

    For 50-years I’ve observed the wranglings of lands and structures designated in this case, outrigger canoe club “sanctuary” alongside the other old timers like myself in these “safe zones”, that only today we need due to the mess created by our supposed u.s. voted in leaders.

    My point with Black Pot still rests in the county attorney office, where in council, that attorney gave COK the “go ahead”, while they have not provided the council, the Admin, or the people with “ownership” documents, which are impossible to obtain.

    Since there is and has never been a treaty of annexation, except the three failed and fraudulent u.s. attempts or fakedout ‘joint resolution’ Ruse, to get what they thought would suffice in the americanization processes. i am questioning the illegal entrapment of governmentomilitary against humanity?

    so, “Wheres the beef” I want to see feel touch that document that says COK owns Black Pot, or in fact, SaltPond Park or ALL the military sites on kauai; Robinson, owning Niihau; A&B owning, Grove Farm, Rice Ranch and no forget Zuckerberg, Bette, and even Tim Allen, for Port Allen etc

    These are newsworthy public sun-shinny issue requests. Please publish these requested findings with pictures. Rule of Law, not rule of lawlessness! mAhalo

  7. Makani B. Howard February 6, 2020 9:48 am Reply

    Fools, all of ya! LOL!

    What a waste of money and time.

    What are engineers getting paid for if they knew this would happen, and did it anyway?

  8. SurferChris February 7, 2020 7:07 pm Reply

    Great Planning,Thanks for putting Toilets right in the middle of the park where we all USED to be able to throw ball or Frisbee,

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