Road is only for walking to Velzyland
What ever happened to plans for beach access or a park at the Velzyland surf spot on the North Shore?
Answer: For now there is public access to the beach and surf spots on the Kahuku side of the Kaunala Estates housing development, if you park on Kamehameha Highway and walk down a paved road that runs along the gated community's wall.
But until the city figures out what to do next, you can't drive a car down that road and park closer to the beach, city spokesman Bill Brennan said.
Developer D.G. "Andy" Anderson gave the city a 1.5-acre strip of land at the northeastern end of the 19-acre Kaunala Estates in 2002. The strip abuts the city's undeveloped Waialee Beach Park.
It cost Kaulana Estate developers $700,000 to put in the road to the beach, Anderson said, and he wishes the city would open it.
Brennan said it's not that easy.
The access road has only a few parking spaces at its makai end, rather than a full-size parking lot, and the road is not designed for emergency vehicle access, he said.
The city Emergency Services Department does not want to get crowds parking on the parcel until they have access for emergency vehicles, Brennan said. And the department does not want a lifeguard stand there until there is a bathroom, he said.
Brennan did not have a cost estimate for a parking lot and restrooms, but said it would cost about $55,000 for a lifeguard tower installation, plus $350,000 more to staff it for a year.
"We don't want to staff Velzyland while there are other, more pressing needs for the North Shore," he said.
So far, Brennan said, there have been no complaints from surfers who have to hoof it from the highway, or from Kaunala Estates residents.
George Downing, spokesman for Save Our Surf, has noted in the past there are no beach parks with adequate facilities between Malaekahana State Park and Haleiwa Beach Park.
This update was written by Star-Bulletin reporter Diana Leone.
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