wants beach seized
Nine privately owned parcelsBy Gary T. Kubota
at Palauea would be turned
into a cultural park
WAILUKU -- Some Maui residents want the county to buy a strip of beach at Palauea that they say should become a part of a native Hawaiian cultural park.
But Maui Mayor James Apana says in view of the county's lack of money, he is looking at buying only one of the nine parcels on the beach.
A half-acre parcel recently sold for $2.7 million, according to the county.
Dana Naone Hall, a member of the group Hui Alanui O Makena, said Apana is ignoring the county's Kihei-Makena Community Plan that designates the area as a project district with a 20-acre cultural park.
"The county should proceed with immediate condemnation of the majority of the beach," Hall said.
Hall said an archaeological survey, partially completed by a former owner before the parcel was sold, shows the beach is part of a larger native settlement that included a heiau, fishing monument, burial platform and native residence.
A survey, which reviewed a 52-acre site around Palauea, has traced portions of the settlement back to the 7th century and to a legend of a temple being built there by Aiai, son of Kuula, the fish god of Hawaii, she said.
Attorney William McCorriston, representing Peter Morris who owns most of the nine parcels, was unavailable for comment.
Apana's administration is having an appraiser determine the value of a half-acre parcel owned by Morris. The nine parcels, located to the south of Polo Beach Club, are along a coastline used by residents for fishing, camping and body surfing.
Kihei Community Association board member Susan Bradford said her group wants the county to buy the nine parcels.
"It is frustrating the mayor is not taking a much more pro-active role in seeing what needs to happen in order for us to acquire the whole beach," Bradford said.