Committees to look at alcohol ban, traffic lights, zoning amendments

County Council committees this week will consider measures addressing public safety and quality of life.

A bill to ban alcohol consumption at Kamaole Beach Park II in Kihei will be considered by the Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture and Recreation Committee, chaired by Council Member Don Guzman, on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. The bill was introduced by Council Member Don Couch of South Maui.

Alcohol is prohibited on other beaches along South Kihei Road, such as Kalama Park, Charley Young Park and Kamaole Beach Park I. According to the Maui Police Department, about 90 incidents of disorderly conduct, assaults, harassments and fights were reported at Kamaole II within the last two years, with nearly half of them deemed alcohol related.

Also on the committee’s agenda are acceptance of a batting cage donated by the Phillies Youth Baseball Organization for the Wailuku Elementary School Park, the status of the proposed Upcountry dog park, and a presentation from the Office of Economic Development on the Paia Town strategic plan.

Did you know Hawaii is one of just four states that have yet to upgrade the solid-green left-turn light to a “flashing yellow arrow”? The Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee, chaired by Council Member Elle Cochran, will meet on Monday at 1:30 p.m. to consider a proposal to revise the traffic code by including the flashing yellow arrow signal.

A national study demonstrated use of flashing yellow signals results in fewer traffic delays.

The committee will also consider “rectangular rapid flashing beacons” and “in-pavement roadway lights” as additional types of warning lights at crosswalks. An example of this kind of safety lighting can found at the Piikea roundabout in Kihei.

According to the Department of Public Works, the crosswalk lights are to be installed as part of the “Safe Routes to School” program at Kamalii Elementary School in Kihei and Princess Nahienaena Elementary School in Lahaina.

Amendments to the zoning code will be considered by the Planning Committee, chaired by Couch, on Thursday at 9 a.m. On the agenda are three bills to update and streamline the B-1 Neighborhood Business District, B-3 Central Business District and Country Town Business Districts – considered mixed-use zoning districts intended to facilitate safe, walkable communities, smart growth and locally based economic development.

The legislation was drafted by the Department of Planning and reviewed by the Lanai, Maui and Molokai planning commissions more than four years ago. Planning Director William Spence submitted revised versions of the bills in April.

The legislation is part of the county’s ongoing effort to resolve conflicts, standardize formatting and eliminate outdated terms and uses in land use ordinances. The committee will also review the county’s compliance obligations for a federal metropolitan planning organization for Central Maui.

Review agendas and pending items at mauicounty.gov/committees.

A hui hou.

* Gladys C. Baisa is chairwoman of the Maui County Council and holds the council’s Pukalani-Kula-Ulupalakua area residency seat. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters.


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