Kauai mayor slams gated communities
LIHUE » Mayor Bryan Baptiste wants to revive his stalled proposal to ban gated communities on Kauai.
Baptiste said the measure, which prohibits construction of gates and guard shacks that prevent or restrict access to private roads serving five or more homes, is set to return to the County Council's agenda this month.
"It creates an 'us and them' mentality," he said.
The mayor's administration pitched the legislation in 2005, but the measure has stalled because of legal questions.
"It's not a public safety issue to me," he said. "It's so we don't isolate ourselves from each other."
David Callies, a critic of the plan and a law professor at the University of Hawaii, has said that excluding the public from private land is a constitutional right protected under the Fifth Amendment.
Baptiste said interaction among neighbors of varying financial and ethnic backgrounds strengthens communities and fosters a greater society.
"We tend to get to know each other as human beings and not by our socioeconomic or racial stereotypes," he said.
There are only two subdivisions on Kauai that are gated : one in Kilauea and other above Nawiliwili Harbor.
The high-priced Kukui'ula community being built near Poipu will not include fences or gates.
Company officials have said the 1,010-acre property, featuring multimillion-dollar homes, will remain open to the public.
The community's park, hiking trails and shopping center also will be accessible to the public. But the development could be affected by the mayor's proposed ban against guard stations.
Some of the neighborhoods within Kukui'ula might have "controlled access or a greeter house staffed as a part of the individual community guidelines," according to the company's Web site.