The Maui News | May 7, 2019
By LEE IMADA, Managing Editor
Trail to bay to be restored with no restrictions on hours of use
Shoreline access to Honokeana Bay through “Fisherman’s Trail” will be restored as part of a settlement involving the Napili Point II condominium.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in 2nd Circuit Environmental Court in January 2018 are Na Papa’i Wawae ‘Ula’ula, a West Maui shoreline and Native Hawaiian practices protection group; the West Maui Preservation Association; and longtime West Maui watermen Kanamu Balinbin and Archie Kalepa.
The settlement was hammered out last month after six months of negotiations with retired Judge Dan Foley as mediator, said plaintiffs’ attorney Lance Collins last week. He noted that the plaintiffs wanted access to the bay while the condo association was looking to have it done in a safe manner.
“Everybody is now moving in the same direction,” Collins said.
The settlement involved the condo:
- Restoring Fisherman’s Trail leading to Honokeana Bay
- Putting no restrictions on hours of use of the trail
- Not placing barriers across the trail, unless required by the county and with the plaintiffs’ approval
- Keeping the existing metal gate unlocked at least from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
- Obtaining plaintiffs’ approval before placing any signs near the trail or the gate.
Kai Nishiki, a leader of Na Papa’i Wawae ‘Ula’ula, said last week that the condo’s special management area permit required it to provide “significant pedestrian access” to the shoreline through the Fisherman’s Trail. The approved site plan included a 3-foot-wide trail from Honoapiilani Highway to the shoreline.
“Over the years, however, the trail has been neglected, overgrown with roots and trees, and lined with signs warning the public not to use the trail,” Nishiki said. “The lateral access along Honokeana Cove has met with similar difficulties.”
Collins has said that Fisherman’s Trail is critical because it is only shoreline access within the 2-mile stretch between Sands of Kahana and Napili Place.
Because the county has been “unable to enforce these permit conditions proactively,” the plaintiffs filed the lawsuit, Nishiki said.
“This is a win for community members, who have had to struggle for access to and along Honokeana Cove and in the Napili area generally,” she said.
Two other condos in the Napili-Honokowai area named in the lawsuit — Hale Mahina and Hoyochi Nikko — are close to a settlement as well, Collins indicated. There are “a couple of outstanding” issues, he said.
Hale Mahina was required to maintain a 3-foot-wide public beach access path and to make shoreline improvements as part of its SMA permit. The condo has not provided the shoreline access as required, Collins said when the suit was filed.
As for the Hoyochi Nikko, the public has reached the shoreline through a trail at the northern end of the property for decades. This established a public easement, which requires the Hoyochi Nikko to permit public access through the trail, Collins has said.
The next closest shoreline access points in the area are half a mile away in either direction, the plaintiffs said.
* Lee Imada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.