Council OKs $50K for demolition of Montana Beach house in Paia

WAILUKU – The Maui County Council gave initial approval Friday to spending $50,000 for demolition work on the infamous Montana Beach house in Paia.

The funding will be used to award a contract to Pacific Concrete Cutting & Coring. It will demolish and remove the home on the Paia town side of Baldwin Beach Park.

The work will end the more than decadelong saga of the once luxurious oceanfront home that had been mired in a legal tangle over the granting and later rescinding of a special management area permit.

In 2008, the county took ownership of the property in a $4.1 million settlement. Then for years, the county was tied up trying to decide what to do with the 2,500-square-foot structure that was built with luxurious features and materials.

There were proposals to use the house as a community center, to move the house, and later to try to sell some of the luxurious pieces of the house as part of its demolition. Last year, the County Council authorized disposal of the Montana Beach structure while retaining ownership of the land.

The bill now advances to a second and final reading by the council.

In other action, members on second and final reading approved a bill to name the proposed Nahiku Community Center the David Kanaloa Kaho’okele Jr. Nahiku Community Center.

Members on first reading also approved a bill amending part of the County Code relating to apartment district, by establishing accessory uses, consolidating and clarifying development standards, deleting the requirement of conditional permits for townhouses and providing the planning director with rule-making authority.

Other council action included:

* Adoption of a resolution approving several proposals to be included in the 2014 Hawaii State Association of Counties legislative package. Those proposals include increasing the annual cap on the counties’ share of transient accommodations tax revenue from $93 million to $186 million.

* On first reading, councilors approved a bill to establish a Public Works Commission. With the commission, the county will consolidate and eliminate the following panels: Traffic Safety Council; Commission on Naming Streets, Parks and Facilities; Subdivision Engineering Standards Committee; and Maui County Outdoor Lighting Standards Committee.

* On first reading, council members approved a bill to eliminate the Commission on Culture and the Arts. The county administration said the commission is no longer essential to the purpose for which it was formed. The county spends nearly $1 million a year on the arts, culture, arts facilities, festivals and events.