Ask The Mayor
Q: What’s with all the loose dogs at Baldwin Beach? I was there on a Sunday morning and there were way too many loose dogs. I only saw one dog on a leash. It appears to be a play yard for people with dogs. I understand how much they love to run and play in the water, but the county has provided a much-needed place for dogs to run free. Baldwin Beach is a beautiful beach for people of all ages to enjoy, and we should not have to be careful of dogs running around.
A: The county code requires the owner of a dog to keep the dog under restraint, except if the dog is being used for law enforcement purposes, authorized hunting, during competitions or training with the consent of the property owner or is within the confines of a dog park. Violations bring a fine of not more than $500. The minimum fine is not less than $50 for a first violation, a fine of not less than $100 for a second violation within five years after a prior violation and a fine of not less than $200 for a third violation within five years after two prior violations. To report a leash law violation, call the Maui Humane Society at 877-3680, ext. 29.
Q: I enjoy going to the beach at Kamaole I, II and III beach parks, but some of the bathrooms are terrible. Is anything going to be done about them?
A: The problem with the restrooms at Kamaole I, II and III is that they were designed in the 1970s and were never made to handle the kind of heavy use that we have today. We have been taking a long, hard look at some of our park restrooms, and there are definitely some changes that need to be made as far as repair and maintenance issues. Renovations at the Kamaole II restroom facilities are already finished and the restrooms at Kamaole I are being renovated as we speak and should reopen this week.
Q: I really need to attend the Permitting Open House that is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. However, I have to work and cannot take a lunch break at that time. Is there any way you can consider holding a Permitting Open House on the weekend or after-hours? I would even be willing to pay a fee to attend a session like this, as it’s so convenient to have all the department staff in one room to answer questions and offer advice.
A: Thank you for your feedback. This is the third Permitting Open House we are holding, and we are indeed considering having our fourth event on a weekend or after-hours in order to better assist working people like yourself. The Permitting Open Houses help simplify and expedite the residential and commercial building permit process by bringing together representatives from all the county departments that sign off on permits: fire, water, public works, planning and environmental management. The next open house will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday on the ninth floor of the county building in the Mayor’s Conference Room. Attendees are asked to bring a copy of their plans. For more information, call 270-7855.
Ask The Mayor
Q: If we ever have to go to a shelter because of a storm, will they have food and cots for us there?
A: No, you will need to arrive at the shelter prepared with your own supplies such as bedding, food and water, clothing, medications and other personal items. A shelter is just that – a place to take shelter and is most often operated by volunteers at a government facility like a school, gym or other large, covered area. June marks the official start of hurricane season, which runs through November. To help your family members, neighbors and friends be better prepared for a hurricane – or any other disaster – it’s important to take some time to make an emergency plan, gather supplies and familiarize yourself with other ways you need to be prepared. For a list of shelters, tsunami maps, hurricane information, links and resources for children, visit www.mauicounty.gov/civildefense.
Q: What kinds of permits or special reviews are needed for older buildings?
A: Older buildings are significant to our community in that they remind us of the people and uses that were conducted in and around them over generations. If a structure is at least 50 years old, it could qualify for listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. As is often the case, such structures have been altered or modified over the years to the extent that they have lost their historical integrity. However, those that have retained their historical significance can be eligible for historic preservation tax credits for restoration and preservation. Two recent projects that have benefited from these tax credits are the newly reopened Ma’alaea General Store in Maalaea and the Fred Baldwin Memorial Home in Makawao. If the owner of a historic structure wants to demolish it, then certain mitigation is required by the state, following federal guidelines. This mitigation typically includes specific types of documentary photographs and architectural drawings. To get advice on any residential or commercial building permit, you can attend the next “Permitting Open House,” scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. June 26 in the Mayor’s Conference Room on the ninth floor of the county building. There you can meet one-on-one with representatives from the departments that sign off on county permits: water, fire, planning, public works and environmental management. For more information, call 270-7855 and ask for the capital improvement program coordinator.
Q: Where can I get information on starting my own business?
A: The Maui County Business Resource Center is a great place to start, and you can access information both online and in-person at the center, located at Maui Mall across from IHOP. The MCBRC is an extension project of the Office of Economic Development and serves as a resource for new and existing business owners who need assistance and consultation. The Kuha’o Business Resource Center, located in Kaunakakai, serves business owners on Molokai. To access online business research tools, browse business publications, obtain forms and applications for business licenses and to download a handbook on starting a business in Maui County, visit www.mauicounty.gov/
mcbrc. To view the calendar of workshops from the MCBRC webpage, click on “Training Opportunities.” You may call the MCBRC at 873-8247 for more information on services provided at the center.
Ask The Mayor
Q: Why is it I can’t get an answer about noisy roosters in my neighborhood? These roosters are allowed to make noise at all hours of the night and no one seems to want to do anything about it.
A: Maui County’s noise laws mainly govern barking dogs and loud stereos and, until we update and clarify our noise ordinance, our police officers will continue to have trouble enforcing the law. One of our council members had suggested we take a look at other jurisdictions with more comprehensive noise laws, such as some towns in California where they have public nuisance laws that address specific noise issues and break them down into different sections, such as amplified devices, noise from construction work, engines and motors or other mechanical noises near residential districts, as well as noises by animals, birds and fowl. These jurisdictions even establish hours that these noises are acceptable and when they are not. We do need to keep in mind that while some areas of Maui, Molokai and Lanai have grown in population over the years, many of our neighborhoods are still considered rural in nature. Backyard animals have been the norm for many generations of families, which may come as a surprise to new residents who move into old-time neighborhoods. The most comprehensive and fair way to address the issue of rooster noise will be to strengthen our county noise ordinances so we can give our police officers the tools they need to enforce the law.
Q: Who is eligible to visit the Tropic Care health clinics to receive free services? I heard it was only for veterans.
A: The Tropic Care clinics are not just for veterans. Anyone needing assistance can simply show up at a clinic and wait in line to receive top-quality care for free. To receive a physical examination, dental exam or extraction, eye exam or free single-lens eyeglasses, visit one of the free clinics throughout Maui County. There are clinics open every day until Wednesday in Wailuku at Iao School (8 a.m.-4 p.m.), Kihei at St. Theresa Catholic Church (8 a.m.4 p.m.) and on Lanai at Lanai High & Elementary School (8 a.m.-7 p.m.). In Lahaina, there is a clinic Tuesday and Wednesday at Lahaina Civic Center (8 a.m.-5 p.m.). The free services are being provided by members of the U.S. military as part of a rapid response exercise in preparation for real-life disasters. For more information, visit www.mauicounty.gov/TropicCare.
Q: My question is on the repaving of Puukolii Road in Kaanapali. We bought a condo at Kaanapali Plantation in 1999 and, at that time, the roadbed was already in bad shape, but the issue was the partial ownership of the road by both the country and an individual who owned the land north of Puukolii. I have since written our West Maui council member and as recently as this year, I get the same response on the dual ownership of the road. Surely someone in county government can negotiate ownership of the road or come to some agreement with this person to permit repaving of the road. Are you familiar with this situation, and can it be resolved? The noise from the roadbed is increasingly loud, as heavy construction trucks use the road daily.
A: The county Department of Public Works has been working with the Kaanapali Hillside Home Owners Association to get the balance of Puukolii Road transferred to the county.
The HOA did a survey for the county identifying where the road is, in relation to the six or so privately owned road lots that comprise the balance of the non-county-owned road. Public Works Director David Goode has informed me that we have pulled title reports on all these lots and sent them for legal review to determine which encumbrances to title will need to be removed prior to sending them to the County Council for further action. Ultimately, the county can only accept lots that have clean titles, so this process may take some time depending on the nature of the encumbrances and the willingness of various parties to cooperate in releasing or modifying the encumbrances.
Ask The Mayor
Q: Is it legal for a minor to fire a paintball gun in a residential area or anywhere outside of a paintball park?
A: According to the Maui Police Department and the county’s Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, a paintball gun is considered an air gun because it contains a compressed air mechanism. That means that by law, a juvenile would need to be using the paintball gun under adult supervision in a controlled environment and not causing harm to anyone or damage to property. Maui County Code 9.28.020 specifies that it is unlawful for a minor to acquire by purchase, gift or otherwise possess, use, operate or play with an air gun unless under the immediate supervision of an adult. However, the code also indicates that such use may not take place on a public highway, in a public park or playground, on school premises, in theaters, airports, harbors, piers or any other public place. It is also against the law to sell a minor any ball, pellet or other missiles designed to be used for or by air guns. To view the County Code, visit www.mauicounty. gov/laws.
Q: When I viewed my water bill recently, I noticed that the monthly sewer charges are higher than the monthly water charges. Why is that?
A: The simple answer as to why your sewer bill is more than your water bill is that it costs more, per gallon, to treat and dispose of wastewater than it costs to supply fresh water. This was not always the case. Before the 1970s, wastewater was simply dumped into the ocean. As the public has come to demand that wastewater be highly treated, costs have risen. Neither county-owned utility makes a profit, but both are required to charge enough to cover the real costs. Since some water users are on cesspool or septic systems instead of a county sewer line, this also means that there are fewer wastewater users to help pay for the higher costs.
Q: What kind of dental care will be provided during Tropic Care, and will this take place again next year?
A: Tropic Care Maui County will not take place again next year. It is a one-time event, providing free health, dental, vision, nutrition and counseling services at six locations throughout Maui County from Tuesday to June 12. The dental care services provided will primarily include dental screenings, with limited filling of cavities not requiring sedation, extractions and limited cleaning of teeth depending on available time. The 400 uniformed personnel providing care are professionals licensed in the United States, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, ophthalmologists, dentists and others from active and reserved ranks of the armed forces around the United States participating in a rapid deployment exercise. If further care is needed, Tropic Care participants will be referred to their established medical, optometry or dental health provider. If the individual does not have an established relationship with a provider, a list of affordable services will be provided. Tropic Care clinics will not accept advance appointments; participants will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Identification will not be required, and no fees will be charged. Noncitizens, individuals with no local address and those with no health insurance are welcome to attend. Please keep in mind that participants will probably need to wait in line, so come prepared with your own water, snacks, supplies and other comforts in case seating and shade are not available at a particular clinic. For more information on locations, dates and times, visit www.mauicounty.gov/TropicCare or call 270-7855 and ask for the Tropic Care hotline.