Posted by: lokahipath | July 9, 2010

County Council Defers Steep Easement decision at Larsen’s Beach

By Richard Spacer on 7 July 2010 –

The Kauai County Council held a special agenda session Wednesday morning July 7, 2010 to discuss a proposed Grant of Pedestrian Access Easement between Waioli Corporation and the County of Kauai. This is an easement to Larsen’s Beach in Lepeuli. Mayor Carvalho sent the council a transmittal letter dated June 29, 2010 enclosing the proposal of 10 pages with 5 pages of exhibits. This was asked to be on the county agenda July 7, the Wednesday following a long national holiday weekend.

The easement proposed is what activists call the “wrong-of-way”, the steepest of the three trails to Larsen’s that goes down the face of the cliff directly in front of the parking lot. It is Waioli property the county has been incorrectly maintaining for years, since they thought it was county property, never thinking the county right-of-way is on the other side of the fence. It is an EASEMENT, meaning the county (we) will never own it, Waioli will continue to own it. And the 10 pages of proposal make clear that Waioli can erect fencing in the easement if it “does not unreasonably” interfere with beach access. Activists smell a rat.

Under direct questioning by councilmember Kawahara, Waioli attorney Don Wilson stated access would not be blocked, nor limited to daylight. Activists do not believe him. Why reserve the right to put fencing in the easement if it will always be open? And they even reserve the right to move the easaement to a totally different location in the future! My opinion is they want to fence and gate the easement and limit to daylight use to a maximum number or people.

After a large turnout and spirited discussion by Waioli/Bruce Laymon supporters on the one side, and beach access supporters on the other, which included a power point presentation of the proposal by Deputy County Attorney Ian Jung, and also a presentation by Hope and Tim Kallai, the council voted 7-0 to defer discussion of the proposal until August 25.

Beach access supporters asked for a deferred decision and public hearing as the county did not have enough time to study this matter, and neither did the public. Many said they did not have any desire to have a beach access the public does not own.

I am very happy with the decision by the council and I thank them for their vote.

This agreement was referred to by Waioli attorney Don Wilson back on May 13 at the public Board of Land and Natural Resources appeal hearing on the Paradise Ranch permit grant. Wilson said everyone in the administration and the County Attorney had all looked at it.

Since Don Wilson said the agreement exists, I filed a Request to Access a Goverment Record ( Sunshine Law) on June 10, 2010 for this agreement and personally dropped it off at the County Attorney’s Office. They had 10 days under the state law to respond. On June 18, 2010 Deputy County Attorney Ian Jung responded saying “The agreement requested has not been entered into. Please provide more information about the purported agreement between Waioli Corporation and the County of Kauai.

However, we will provide you with a Waranty Deed issued to the County of Kauai from Waioli Corporation providing for beach access to Larsen’s Beach.” Strange. The deed provided to me was the 1979 deed in which Kauai County obtained the fee-simple beach road, parking lot, and beach trail for $6900. that fell into disuse after being illegally fenced off by persons unknown many years ago. We own this trail outright. This is the trail that was behind the illegal fence but that has now been cut.

Stranger still then that Thursday, July 1st, when I asked for a copy of the agreement while stopping by the Office of the Mayor I was told the document is not there. I asked how that could be. They repeated they do not have any such document. They said ask the council. I stated “But the administration signed off on it it, why wouldn’t a copy be here?” They replied, “We are not going to argue with you.” So I walked out.

The air was so cold in the office I could see my breath. As I walked down the stairs in the Piikoi Building I had to hold on to the railing for fears of slipping on the ice. Stepping into the courtyard swirls of snow whipped around my face. I never knew it snowed on Kauai, but I sure got snowed that day.

Of course the agreement existed when I requested it, but their excuse for not giving it to me is they did not put a date on the proposal until June 29, because they hoped the council would rush it through after the holiday weekend with no questions asked. Damn those activists! This Mayoral administration and its culture of secrecy has not yet sunk to the depths of the totalitarian Kusaka regime, but it is well on the path to doing so.

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Image above: Photo of Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho at work leading a warm-up for the Mayor-a-thon in Kapaa on the weekend his office was holding off on dating its proposal on easement for Larsen’s Beach access route. From (http://www.kauaipath.org/content/kauai-mayor-thon).

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