League Speaks to Parking Plan for Ka Iwi Scenic Area (Anna Hoover)|
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League Speaks to Parking Plan for Ka Iwi Scenic Area
Proposed improvements to the Ka Iwi Scenic Area were discussed at the League's Planning Committee, Monday, July 16. Originally the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) proposed two 40 space parking lots connected by a new roadway within the scenic area - one parking lot at Makapuu Lookout and one for lighthouse hikers. Two planned lookout platforms overlooking Makapuu Beach, with disabled access intruding on the area, were also proposed.
With a new version of the proposal DLNR responded to public concerns about the location and intrusiveness. This version, reviewed at the Monday meeting, includes two smaller parking lots. The Makapuu Point parking moved from the middle of the scenic land to the location of the current informal lot where significant safety and aesthetic improvements will be made. From this 20 space lot a pathway and steps lead to only one overlook at the place where people now go to look over Makapuu Beach by scrambling up the lava rock and walking close to the edge of the cliff. Another path, the proposed disabled accessible path, follows the contour and includes a small lookout toward the Ka Iwi channel. A 40-space parking lot for lighthouse hikers is positioned on the current lighthouse road off the highway near the second gate and is apparently not visible from the Makapuu lookout points. A new road to this parking leaves the highway in an area between two segments of the old King's Highway.
The League has long spoken in favor of preserving this area in open space. This was achieved recently when the landowner and the State agreed on a price. Funds to obtain the land are from the Federal Scenic Highway program. At the time of Federal approval for use of these funds conditions for retaining the funds were set out. The State is required to make safety, access and parking improvements in the Makapuu Lookout area as well as mitigate visual intrusion of the utility lines.
On July 18, 2001, the Department of Planning and permitting (DPP) held a hearing regarding a necessary Special Management Area permit for the improvements to the Ka Iwi Scenic Area. Following the hearing DPP forwards it's recommendation to the Honolulu City Council. The Council will then consider the SMP resolution in Committee and on the Council floor. The League's Planning Committee presented the following comments at the DPP hearing.
My name is Pearl Johnson, speaking for the League of Women Voters of Honolulu. We wish to communicate our position concerning Ka Iwi Scenic Shoreline. We believe this significant, scenic site should remain pristine while meeting the Federal requirements for safety.
The League of Women Voters supports improvements only for safe access with minimum physical and visual impact. Access for all buses should be limited to drop off and pick up under a permit system.
Landscaping should be in keeping with the surrounding terrain and use only native Hawaiian dry-land plants and natural local materials. Final design should be reviewed and approved by the Department of Planning and Permitting to minimize visual impact.
There should be opportunity for public comment prior to approval.
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