County’s zipline resolution seen as a major betrayal

The county’s handling of the Northshore Zipline Co. resolution — behind closed doors and a “confidential” settlement — is betrayal and abandonment of victimized citizens (The Maui News, Dec 12). On the thinnest of threads, the planning director bought into the questionable theory that ziplines were included in Camp Maui military training, thereby granting historical relevance and permit status to the zipline.

Anxious to convince the world that his zipline is not a zipline, the operator touts his 17-acre enterprise as “Maui’s largest WWII historical site,” ignoring the nearby 40-acre 4th Division Marine Memorial Park. Rather than zipline history, their website boasts “7 Costa Rican-style eco-adventure ziplines up to 900 feet in length.” How historical is that? I find no mention of zipline use at Camp Maui in online Maui military history.

The Maui Planning Commission twice unanimously denied permits, declaring that historic preservation uses seemed secondary to zipline operation, an obvious conclusion. How did this get turned around? The claim of historic zipline use is a shameful self-justification that patronizes undeserving opportunists who hide behind a bevy of lawyers from one of Hawaii’s largest law firms and who barged into a once quiet neighborhood, unpermitted and unannounced, shattering the pastoral peace.

Which is the legitimate primary purpose of the Northshore Zipline: historic WWII tours or thrill-ride commercial zipline tours? The historical aspect is a thinly disguised ruse to permit the zipline on the backs of soldiers whose training they self-servingly claim included ziplines.

Jake Rohrer