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.