Parks and Rec hearing closed to the public

LIHU‘E – The Department of Parks and Recreation is proposing new rules for use of county sports fields/stadium facilities and playgrounds, and there’s a public hearing about those rules today.

That meeting isn’t open to the public, though.

County of Kauai announced the public hearing in a press release yesterday, saying the purpose of the public hearing is to outline and establish uniform rules and regulations for use of these facilities, provide “equitable opportunities” for use, prevent abuse and misuse of the sports fields/stadium facilities and playgrounds and “provide reasonable control of recreational activities”.

“Pursuant to the Supplementary Emergency Proclamation dated March 16, 2020, issued by Governor David Y. Ige, this public hearing will be closed to the public consistent with social distancing practices,” the Office of the Mayor wrote in the Monday press release announcing the hearing.

Those who want a copy of the new rules have to call Department of Parks and Recreation and request a copy of the rules, or mail in a request to get a copy. The public hearing will be read into the record and testimony may be submitted in writing to dagaran@kauai.gov; via facsimile to 241-5126; mailed to the Department of Parks and Recreation at 4444 Rice Street, Suite 105, Lihu‘e, Hawai‘i 96766; or by telephone at 241-4456.

Those who want to submit testimony on the proposed rules can do so by sending them in writing to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

County of Kauai didn’t give a deadline for testimony submittal on Monday, but did say formats such as large print, braille or electronic copies of the proposed rules are available — if you ask. Reach out to Department of Parks and Recreation at 241-4460 or dagaran@kauai.gov for further information.

Monday, County of Kaua‘i also announced more closures and changes in operations for the Department of Parks and Recreation, including the closure of offices to the public through April 30, or until further notice. County stadiums, community centers (e.g. neighborhood centers, Anahola Clubhouse, Smokey Valley Clubhouse, Hanapepe Multipurpose Facility, and the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall), and swimming pools are closed to the public through May 14, 2020, or until further notice. Permits for these facilities will not be issued until further notice.

County parks, beach parks, and the Wailua Golf Course remain open to the public.

In accordance with Governor Ige’s Stay-at-Home order and Mayor’s Emergency Rule #5, County parks and beach parks may be used by individuals actively engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, running, biking, surfing, or swimming, but only if appropriate social distancing practices are used. Lounging and or sunbathing on the beach or in a park does not constitute exercise.

Day-Use permits are required for non-Hawaii residents to access any County beach park. These permits may be obtained at the following website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/county-of-kauai-day-use-beach-park-permit-fee-covid19-tickets-100651073069. Please refer to Emergency Rule #4 for additional information. Furthermore, the Wailua Golf Course has incorporated its own operating procedures that can be found at www.kauai.gov/COVID-19.

Front office staff is available for telephone inquiries at 808-241-4460. A staff member will return calls within 24 hours of a message received or the next business day for messages received after the close of business on Fridays.

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