Sunday, December 23, 2001

Maui County

Maui campground plan
moves forward

The County Council turned down
a camp proposal for Waihee

By Gary Kubota

WAILUKU >> Maui County Council members appear poised to approve the establishment of a camping site at Papalaua Wayside Park in West Maui.

But the Council has turned down Mayor James Apana's proposal to put camping sites at Waihee on the northwest outskirts of Central Maui and Honomanu in East Maui.

The bill, which passed first reading this week, is scheduled for a final Council vote Jan. 11.

If passed, Papalaua would be the second county campground on Maui.

The first camping site is located at Kanaha Beach Park in Kahului.

Although never formally allowed, Papalaua has served as a camping site for many fishermen and surfers for decades.

Some residents, including surfers and fishermen, protested against the enforced closure of Papalaua to camping earlier this year, eventually resulting in Maui Mayor James "Kimo" Apana re-opening the beach to camping until a review was conducted by the Council.

Apana proposed formally establishing camp sites at Papalaua, Honomanu in Keanae, and Waihee, along with rules to maintain the beach areas.

Beachgoers have complained about the need for more maintenance at camping sites and for the homeless not to monopolize camping sites.

Jo Anne Johnson, chairman of the Council's parks committee, said residents in surrounding areas felt the locations at Honomanu and Waihee were not conducive to large-scale camping.

Johnson said if the Council was going to establish a campground, the site should be large enough to accommodate more than a few campers and justify the expense for maintenance.

She said her parks committee was still looking for prospective sites and welcomed ideas on prospective locations for camping grounds.

Johnson said she also wants to draft a bill that would encourage the development of more private camp grounds.

Maui County

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