Historical public records regarding shoreline developments and the public’s right to access are now more easily available. The HK West Maui Community Fund recently announced that the West Maui Beach Access Database is available online at Westmauibeachaccess.org.
The West Maui Beach Access Database was developed at the request of West Maui residents who expressed difficulty in accessing historical public records regarding particular shoreline developments and the public’s right to access the beach in those areas.
The database is arranged by Tax Map Key number and provides information regarding the type of shoreline; its general accessibility; a link to the nearest public shoreline access point; photographs of the shoreline area; map of the parcel; and any public documents that have been obtained from the County of Maui or other sources.
The addition of content to the database is ongoing and members of the public–with information or documents that they wish to have included and share–can submit their documents to the Community Fund by postal mail or e-mail.
The Community Fund has been working with the Department of Planning in obtaining public records related to shoreline development over the last two years. Most of documents relate to shoreline area development starting in the ahupua’a of Hanakao’o and going north. The Community Fund will continue to work with the Department of Planning in obtaining documents and will post them to the database as they are obtained.
“Until the County is able to fund the digitization of their archive of shoreline development approvals, this database will help members of the public better understand the commitments land developers made to the people of West Maui when they were given permission to develop along the shoreline,” said Community Fund spokesperson Lance D. Collins.
The work of the database has already proved itself useful; last March, documents obtained for the database were used by the Department of Planning to resolve concerns raised by West Maui resident Randy Draper and others that Ka`anapali area hotels were not providing required beach access parking (click here to read our April 2016 story on Draper and the parking situation).
Image of D. Howard Hitchcock’s 1932 painting Lahaina Beach–West Maui: Hawaii State Art Museum/Wikimedia Commons