Resort now refuses to sell path parcel

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island file

    An educational sign on seabirds alerting people to possible nesting sites nearby marks the edge of an informal path fronting the Islander on the Beach along the Waipouli coastline.

WAIPOULI — On Thursday, the board of directors of Islander on the Beach resort rescinded approval of a plan to sell a parcel fronting the Waipouli property to the county.

In an email, the board cited misrepresentation on the part of the county.

IOB board member Bob MacCallum said the county had originally stated the plan was to use permeable pavers for the path, and has now switched to impervious concrete, which requires more maintenance. The area, residents said, has been known to flood, and adding impervious concrete will exacerbate the issue.

On Saturday, Doug Haigh, county Department of Public Works Building Division head, said the county had not received a letter rescinding approval of the easement.

A 0.3-mile segment of land in Waipouli is needed to fulfill plans to connect Ke Ala Hele Makalae multi-use coastal path from Lydgate Park through Kapa‘a.

This segment is currently owned by Islander on the Beach in Waipouli behind Coconut Marketplace, working south to the coast and east to the property edge of the Kaua‘i Coast Resort at the Beachboy.

Wednesday, the Kaua‘i County Council was to decide if it’s willing to purchase the easement for $24,300 through eminent domain.

This portion specifically deals with a fourth section of the path’s third phase of construction. The unpaved land is already traversed by the public through a county-owned, public-beach accessway.

On a walk-thru of the site, Kaua‘i Path Executive Director Tommy Noyes reiterated that the point of the path is its coastal nature. The land in question would provide vertical access toward the beach, making an accessible pathway.

“Ke Ala Hele Makalae was convened to and is successfully securing lateral coastal access in perpetuity for the public benefit while creating a world-class amenity,” Noyes said in a statement. The nonprofit acts as an advocacy and educational partner with the county.

Noyes said there have been “countless hours” spent on the project thus far, and concerns for seabirds, safety and environmental impact have already been resolved.

The project started in the mid-1990s, and a final environmental assessment was made in 2007, with the state, county and U.S. Department of Transportation, and a final environmental review wrapped in 2018. Public ho‘oponopono community meetings in 2012 and 2013 addressed archaeological and cultural concerns in this area.

“The county has complied with the environmental-review process for this project, and will continue to comply with all laws related to the protection of endangered and threatened species,” said Doug Haigh, county Department of Public Works Building Division chief said in an email.

According to Haigh, informal discussions with IOB began in 2014. In 2016 the resort’s board allowed the county to survey the property. In 2018, the Planning Commission issued a Special Management Area Use Permit and a Shoreline Setback Variance for this part of the path, according to Kaua‘i Path.

Haigh said the path is constructed per county shoreline-construction requirements, and “a commitment that the shoreline is not to be hardened to protect the path.”

In 2019, the county provided IOB its first offer.

The Islander on the Beach board of directors gave its approval of the final $24,300 price of the easement in 2020, but acknowledged it did not have the authority to sign easement documents without all 270 unit owners’ signatures.

Coastal path concerns

Sierra Club Kaua‘i Group Executive Committee Member Julio Magalhaes said the club would support an alternative route, further inland, and urged the council to see this vote as a “tough decision needed to address the climate crisis.”

”The Kaua‘i Group Sierra Club believes it is irresponsible to locate the multi-use path in a sea-level-rise area identified in the Hawai’i Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report issued by the Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission in 2017,” Magalhaes said Saturday.

“The recent extensive erosion at Wailua Beach next to the concrete multi-use path presents a cautionary tale on placing the path close to the coast. This major erosion should give great pause to the council as it considers Resolution 2021-13,” Magalhaes said, citing the resolution authorizing the acquisition.

Friday, the council received two petitions, one in favor of the condemnation and one against.

Kapa‘a resident Sally Jo Manea wrote to the council, stating the council should use its power to secure the land.

“Use this opportunity to continue to secure the coastal route in perpetuity for the public, as has been the intent of Ke Ala Hele Makalae since its inception,” Manea wrote. “Please do not be distracted by concerns that the physical structure would be damaged by coastal erosion. This is inevitable for all our coastal roadways, and is a separate issue. The issue here is public access.”

The county already owns an easement between Lava Lava Beach Club and Islander on the Beach that allows beach access. It needs an additional easement down the makai side of the IOB property for ample space to build the 12-foot path.

Just up the road from this site, the state’s Department of Transportation has placed sandbags along the already-built path in Wailua to protect Kuhio Highway. Federal dollars cannot be used for repairs of the path.

Retired county Eastside road crew Supervisor Steve Sarita, who frequently uses the path, expressed concern for the erosion he’s seen.

“The coastal erosion I have witnessed fronting these resorts would surely keep costing taxpayers money to fix if it isn’t re-rerouted further away from the coastline than now planned,” Sarita said.

Haigh said the county incorporated updated coastal-erosion studies in the plans.

“As we work on the final design, we consider the most-recent studies dealing with coastal erosion,” Haigh said. “We are currently reviewing a boardwalk alternative to the concrete path.”

Further north, in Kapa‘a, where the path spans a one-way section through Moanakai Road along Fuji Beach, residents there can open their door and step right onto the path, while others can find parking off the path in a “complete-streets” design.

The proximity of the path to IOB is a concern for some residents, specifically for a tight turn that would be blocked by one of the buildings.

“First, the very-unsafe conditions caused for visitors, locals and families with keiki crossing perpendicular through all the bicycle traffic passing through this narrow area many at very high speeds” is a huge, legitimate concern, said Trisha Lei Sears.

“Almost as serious is the inevitable negative effects resulting from putting it literally on top of this sensitive coastal area that’s already suffering from rising tides and extensive erosion.”

There have been no reported accidents along the path, according to the county.

•••

Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

17 Comments
  1. Imua44 April 18, 2021 7:03 am Reply

    Another access lost by the County.
    Everyone knows, many of the Islander units have illegal cooking facilities in these hotel rooms.
    This double dealing project should have every unit inspected.
    Shameful.


  2. Trisha Lei Sears April 18, 2021 7:46 am Reply

    The reason that there have been no accidents reported yet fronting I.O.B. and Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy is because the widening of the 5′ path now in place and used by the public, to 12′ wide—closer to the coastal erosion already taking place here—is yet to be built, and it would be a grave mistake to put a wider path (making the 5′ path now in place to 12′ wide) closer to the erosion, when there is a safer and alternative route taking the path where it would last and not cost taxpayers huge taxes to repair, or be left unusable. To put the path through this narrow stretch of land would be very very dangerous for little keiki crossing perpedicular to the ocean with fast approaching bicyclers from both directions, and also a blind corner in the design. An alternate route between the Coconut Marketplace and these two small resorts exists and now that we are having major coastal erosion undermining parts of our path–in which fenced off path areas that now exist ,will mostly likely be occurring more and more.This time around, please listen to the experts , whom are recommending to re-route this section of the Multi-Use Path as far mauka as possible due to the Coastal Erosion due to Global Climate change we are now facing and the people, whom want this path to last for future generations to use also. We pay enough in taxes! Mahalo, Trisha Lei Sears


    1. Ashley April 19, 2021 5:23 am Reply

      Exactly. Not sure what’s so hard for these knuckleheads to understand.


  3. Mark Lindsey April 18, 2021 7:50 am Reply

    There is an existing Ala Hele on the Island of Hawaii that in many areas have been restored by archeologist,s, volunteers, and the state. Though the Ala Hele in districts of Kohala and Kona are familiar to most people. However there are actually bits of the Ala Hele in East Hawaii districts that are extremelyl interesting finds. The best preserved are located on older A’A flows and are largely unknown by the general public.


  4. Uncleaina April 18, 2021 7:54 am Reply

    Cool. County should have them sign documents saying they want absolutely no assistance in protecting the shoreline. Leave it up to the owners to stop erosion. Those buildings will start to fall into the ocean within 25 years. So tired of these people.


  5. Dana T April 18, 2021 8:26 am Reply

    Any clown can see that putting this path on the coast is going to be a disaster. I have no skin in the game I live Westside! But when the test of that Kapaa path is eroding – weve all seen it- you don’t double down on a path in the Same Location!


    1. KauaiVoter April 18, 2021 8:47 pm Reply

      The County needs to abandon the coastal path. We’ve all seen the erosion it’s caused by the Wailua bridge. The path should never have been built. It’s already started to undermine Kuhio Highway and should be removed now before the road fails causing a major traffic accident and loss of life!


    2. Ashley April 19, 2021 5:25 am Reply

      Haha, for reals. Idiots!


  6. MisterM April 18, 2021 4:52 pm Reply

    Great news! It’s total idiocy to buy land that will erode way and require taxpayers to maintain the land that the condo owners would otherwise be forced to maintain.


  7. Good April 18, 2021 7:36 pm Reply

    No sell notin to the county. They are a bunch of crooks


    1. FhUaCoKles April 18, 2021 9:35 pm Reply

      Smartest remark ever made.


    2. USAF Brat April 19, 2021 6:02 am Reply

      “Good”, mAhalo! Fake Cok AND state are a bunch of crooks! Finally, people are “paying attention” None of the HK lands can be legally sold or purchased, Yet, there are too many attorney and folks like Sulla hui or wealthy Z-types, who will do everything-anything necessary to continue the deep dark Ruse, that is no longer a “secret” to maneuver their agenda when the judiciaropolitical sand box they play in should result in these clowns being harvested to the Alamo KCCC or HNL Federal detention center, where REtroactively, They set-up Brun, then Raybuck or now Bode as well as others, as they sidestep publishings like this, so as to confuse the truth. Who raised these peoples anyway? Six decades of putrid backstories! Even the Alekoko Fishpond Restoration is being manipulated AGAIN or PMRF are hiding their agenda Ballistic missile launch intercept facility. So, if you are on this moku, it does matter what side you live on, because the collusion is rampant and everyone is trying to continue pretend mode, as ostrich heads in the same sandbox of players.


  8. Kawika Anahola April 19, 2021 6:08 am Reply

    The path idea is a great asset to the community. The idea of building a 12 ft wide concrete super path is as good idea as rebuilding CoCo Palms Resort. Rising sea levels and coastal erosion is a noticable fact of life here. The erosions at Black Pot, Annini road & park, & along path in Kapaa show Mother Nature gets her way. Smaller, more natural is the way to go. There’s nothing wrong with walking slowly, and not being run over by bikes on a more natural walkway. Mahalo Aloha


  9. Rudolph April 19, 2021 6:43 am Reply

    If it’s been a path as it sits this long, why make another path? I don’t get it. Concrete is a dumb idea though. Won’t last. Soft recycled rubber like at playground or recycled plastic that blends in with the surrounding area.


  10. Mark April 19, 2021 1:58 pm Reply

    Again any one with common Sense will see what a mistake this idea is . Look for yourself. Don’t take anybody else’s word for it, see for yourself. It’s got lawsuit written all over it.


  11. ROBERT MACCALLUM April 19, 2021 4:00 pm Reply

    I hope I can add a bit of clarity to this discussion . Although it may appear that IOB owners are “refusing” to sell land , that is not exactly the case ; as a matter of fact a property owner can object all they want but under the laws of eminent domain, if the government wants your land there is not a damn thing you can do about it.
    However, under the 5th Amendment the government has to pay you for it.

    . Under the Fifth Amendment of the American Constitution, no private property may be taken for public use without just compensation and without the due process of law..

    In this case there is no dispute about the money. The main dispute with county is over the safety issue of having hundreds of pedestrians walking or kids running to the beach , back and forth across a concrete path in front of cyclist bearing down on them from both directions. The legal opinion on this from one of Hawaii’s top law firms is that in a lawsuit
    resulting from a serious or fatal accident because of this unprecedented cross path pedestrian traffic County would be in serious trouble in court because they were aware of a safer route and chose not to use it. Awards in similar cases have been in the $10 million range.

    Paka


  12. Terri April 19, 2021 6:56 pm Reply

    That whole area behind Tree’s Lounge at IOB floods badly everytime it rains hard .
    Probably not best spot for path .


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