Maui bans new permits
for businesses at 9 parks
WAILUKU >> Maui County begins a ban on issuing permits to surfing schools and other commercial operators at nine parks on the Valley Isle starting today.
But the recreation operators will be allowed to continue their commercial activities through June, based on the termination date of their existing permits, acting county Parks Director John Buck said.
County authorities said the 50 permits issued by the county Department of Finance under the old system last year are valid until their date of expiration.
The county receives $250 in fees for each permit.
Buck said as the permits end, no new commercial permits will be issued for operating at the North Shore's Baldwin Beach and Hookipa, South Shore's Cove Park, Kamaole Beach Parks and the southern portion of Kalama Park, and West Maui's Launiupoko and Puamana parks.
The County Council passed a bill Oct. 3 supporting the commercial activities ban at specific beaches after some residents said vendors were cluttering the beaches and ocean and making enjoyment difficult for the general public.
The banned commercial activities include surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking.
The ban does not prevent visitors from renting activities equipment away from the parks and using them in the ocean, but it outlaws commercial operators from conducting activities such as windsurfing lessons at the nine beaches.
Parks officials said there are 20 other beach parks on Maui not covered by the ban, including Kanaha Beach Park near Kahului Airport.
Buck said under the ordinance, the Parks Department is required to conduct an environmental assessment of all beach activities in all county parks before it issues permits for ocean activities.
Buck said he does not know when the environmental assessment will be completed.
The Parks Department is expected to develop administrative rules and an appeals process.
Parks officials plan to hold public hearings to review the rules once they are developed.
Buck said parks officials also plan to ask the Council for additional money to enforce the ban.