Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ka Iwi Coast in Hawaii Kai Gains Needed Protection

The Hawaii Land Use Commission has designated 215 acres of land along East O'ahu's Ka Iwi coast added protection against development. The commission voted to reclassify the property from an urban to conservation designation under the state's land use law. The move puts another layer of protection on land now owned by the state with preservation zoning from the county.

The area reclassified stretches from Sandy Beach to Makapu'u Beach. Much of the land received $5 million in state improvements in 2006 that established a parking lot, put utility lines underground, created a clearly marked trail to Makapu'u lighthouse and barred off-road vehicles from driving in the Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline park preserve. "This action ensures that the entire coastline, from Hanauma Bay to Makapu'u, will remain undeveloped well into the future," said Abbey Mayer, director of the state Office of Planning, whose office filed the petition for the reclassification in January 2009 on behalf of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

There is still 181 acres above the Hawaii Kai golf course and seaward (mauka) above Queen's Beach that is privately owned. The property is in the state's urban district and zoned for preservation by the county, which in some cases allows recreational-type uses on such land. Though an initial application to develop the site was rejected by the county, the potential remains for the land to be developed.

If you want all of Ka Iwi protected, contact your state representatives and Gov. Lingle.

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