Monday, June 19, 2017

Text Of Kaneohe Neighborhood Board’s Resolution On Reopening Haiku Stairs With Management Plan

Here is the text of the resolution on Haiku Stairs, approved by the Board on a 9-0 vote with one abstention, on June 15:
SUPPORTING REOPENING THE HAIKU STAIRS TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC UNDER A CONTROLLED AND MANAGED ACCESS PLAN
WHEREAS, removing the Ha'ikū Stairs will destroy a historic structure, eligible for listing in the National Registry of Historic Places because of their integral role in the defense of the Pacific during WWII; and
WHEREAS, the Ha'ikū Stairs represent one of the safest hiking trails in Hawaii, there having been no documented serious injuries or deaths resulting from accidents on the Stairs; and
WHEREAS, almost all reported rescues attributed to the Ha'ikū Stairs are linked to hikers coming up from the Moanalua side or trying to get to the Stairs by trespassing on adjoining land in adverse hiking conditions; and
WHEREAS, a business plan drawn up by the Friends of Ha'ikū Stairs (FHS) has demonstrated that funds raised from fees to access the Stairs would cover expenses such as security, maintenance, insurance, and staffing; and
WHEREAS, reopening the Stairs under managed access would provide unique educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities; and
WHEREAS, partnership with the Koolau Foundation can expand educational and cultural opportunities to resident keiki; and
WHEREAS, partnerships with the University of Hawaii and the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and their botanists provide a unique opportunity for researchers to document and study native and invasive plant species and their effects; and
WHEREAS, continued trespassing and disrespect for the property privacy expectations of private residents of the Haiku neighborhood are not acceptable and must cease sooner rather than later; and
WHEREAS, removing the Ha'ikū Stairs would destroy the priceless opportunities for hikers to experience the multiple microclimates they pass through as they climb to the summit; and
WHEREAS, at least two plausible access points are available that would entirely avoid the neighborhood at the base of the Stairs; and
WHEREAS, profits from managed access could be used to restore the land surrounding the Omega Station and support development of a Cultural Park in Ha'ikū Valley; now, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED, the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board supports the option contained in the Environmental Impact Statement Preliminary Notice (EISPN) contracted by the Board of Water Supply to reopen the stairs under a controlled and managed access plan that respects the privacy rights of private residents of the Haiku neighborhood; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Friends of Haiku Stairs submit a formal business plan for inclusion into the EIS process and the Board of Water Supply review that plan in a manner that supports a preservation option and now,
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, this resolution be forwarded to the Board of Water Supply, the Mayor of the city and county of Honolulu and all elected officials of the Koolaupoko moku.

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