Tuesday, February 19, 2008


IF DOGS RUN FREE...: Charter “Nit-picker” and former Kaua`i government watchdog par excellence Richard Stauber has taken an interest in the Hanama`ulu Beach Park “cleaning” (see Sat GW-TDT) from his current overseas abode.

He writes:
Hello Andy, In regards to Hanama`ulu Beachpark. They are talking about tree trimming. I hope they have a SMA special use permit. Tree trimming can become 'development' if large trees are cut or removed.

He attached, then Planning Director Dee Crowell’s Memorandum (pdf available soon or via email) to Mayor Marianne Kusaka regarding a 2002 incident where a whole bluff of trees above Donkey Beach were demolished- unannounced- by Kusaka’s “volunteers”. It talks about triggering a Special Management Area” (SMA) permit process during the “chain-saw-gate” phase of the grubbing and grading scandals that plagued the Kusaka administration. and say that for “maintenance”- as long as the tree trimming isn’t anything more than maintenance- no permit is required Any more work would..

But the Mayor’s full press release
says that “extensive work will be done at the beach park by county personnel including: tree trimming; debris removal; road scraping; and boulder replacement along the boundaries of the park.

“Also being considered are the demolition of the old pavilion and re-roofing of the new pavilion.”

It certainly sounds like more than just some “tree trimming” and a lot more than normal maintenance- it sounds like major construction.

PNN requested some assistance this afternoon (Tues.) from the County Administration as to whether an SMA permit- a special federally mandated permitting system issued by the county for work near the shoreline - is required and if not why not.

Even the County must get an SMA for their projects according to state and federal law.

Kaua`i PIO gem Mary Daubert says she’s on the case so fear not- information is a-coming.

An SMA permit generally takes months to apply for and process. Specific drawn plans, passed by the Planning Commission- complete with Public Hearings- are required for all work costing over $125,000. The Planning Director may require the full process if the work is extensive or potentially disruptive of the shoreline area or there is community concern... no matter the cost.

Meanwhile the question of whether the homeless- many of whom live there because they work in Lihu`e- will be dumped into the river even if Baptiste doesn’t start his “cleaning” anytime soon.

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