General Plan review of West Maui
The General Plan review of the urban growth boundaries for West Maui is now underway. The first scheduled meeting was on July 23. I highly encourage our community's involvement and input at the next scheduled meeting for West Maui, which, as of now, is set for Aug. 2 at 1:30 p.m.
To view the documents that will be discussed by the committee, type this link into your browser: www.mauicounty.gov/archives/201/WestMaui.pdf.
As I am sure most of you are aware, there are several development projects that have already been approved for West Maui from Honolua to Olowalu, adding more than 16,000 new units to the district. If you feel strongly one way or another about your vision for the growth of West Maui, this is the time to let the committee members know. The decisions and urban growth boundary lines that we draw today will affect the West Maui that you will see tomorrow. Please e-mail your testimony, or, if time permits, feel welcome to come to the Council Chambers and voice your opinions as we discuss shaping the future growth boundaries of your community. You can send your testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org Feel free to contact my office with any questions that you might have at 270-5504.
No parking on Front Street
My office has received several e-mails concerning a recent unfortunate accident where a child was struck by a moving vehicle in front of the Lahaina Shores Beach Resort. The county has been made aware that the parking situation is creating a hazardous setting for pedestrians. The initial complaint was that vehicles parking along the roadside encroach into the roadway, and pedestrians have to walk in the roadway to get around them. Safety is first and foremost, but I would really like to hear from the residents in the area that will be affected if this bill were to pass out of committee. Please share your stories and sentiments with the committee, so that we can make an informed decision on your behalf.
The Department of Public Works will be moving forward with "NO PARKING" signage on all narrow frontages along portions of Front Street that are consistent with the department's existing policy for prohibiting parking along a roadside with not enough room to park. Based on the department staff's inspection, roughly 80 percent of this south stretch (Honoapiilani Highway to Shaw Street) will be signed for no parking. This can be done without committee discussion or council approval, as it is a safety concern. The Highways Division is currently preparing the work order to begin this first round of signage in the upcoming months. On Monday, July 30, at 9 a.m., my Infrastructure Management Committee will be discussing Item IM-45, a bill prohibiting parking on Front Street between the south terminus on Honoapiilani Highway to Shaw Street. This is another important discussion that I would like to have community input on. Please send your written testimony to email@example.com or join us at 9 a.m. to testify in person. If the ordinance passes, it will cover the remaining portions of the entire length between Honoapiilani Highway to Shaw Street.
Pu'ukoli'i Road repaving
Several complaints regarding Pu'ukoli'i Road being in need of repair have come through my office. After speaking several times with the Department of Public Works, it is my office's understanding that the department's hands are tied to conduct any improvements to the non-county-owned portions of the road due to liability concerns. The department does intend to conduct a survey on the privately owned remnant parcels to determine the exact boundaries of ownership. Once the parcels are identified, the county will need to work with the landowner to take over ownership of the remaining portions of the road and legally make the improvements. This is going to be a process that will take some time.
Homelessness in Lahaina
Another concern for the West Maui community that has been at the forefront for our office is homelessness in Lahaina. Efforts to help resolve this issue were initiated by a group of well-intentioned community-involved participants with the Kaanapali Land Management Homelessness Project. This project sought to clean up the privately owned land behind the Lahaina Aquatic Center, near the Boys & Girls Club and new skate park. Although this particular task was successful in its mission, it is by no means a solution to the problem. I was grateful for the additional participation of the many social service agencies and organizations that offered their assistance to the families and individuals willing to accept their help. Although I receive complaints daily about the theft, harassment, drug use and criminal activity of many of the homeless population in Lahaina, it is important to remember that without outreach and assistance, we are only moving the problem from one location to the next.
I would like to recognize the efforts of another community group that has formed in the area, The Shark Pit Neighborhood Watch. This group of residents concerned with theft in their neighborhood took a leadership role in organizing themselves with the help of the Maui Police Department and the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and with guidance from other community-formed task forces like the Kalama Park Action Team (KPAT) and Maui Park Watch. This kind of community involvement is a move in the right direction. With limited funding, MPD and DLNR are doing the best they can to patrol and enforce the law all over Maui County; but with help like this from the community, it is definitely a win-win for all.