County Council backs plans to expand 2 Big Island parks
The Hawaii County Council took a step toward expanding Ahalanui Park in Puna and Kipapa Park in North Kona earlier this week.
Council on Wednesday unanimously approved two resolutions authorizing the county to seek acquisition of parcels adjacent to the parks through the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation fund.
If the purchases are negotiated, the move would add about 12.8 acres to the county’s inventory of public land.
In its 2013 report, the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission said the lands could be used to expand the parks.
Ahalanui Park includes a hot pond. Kipapa Park is mauka of White Sands Beach Park.
Council heard from supporters and opponents of expanding Ahalanui Park during public testimony.
“We don’t need more land down there, we need bathrooms,” said Toby Hazel.
Rene Siracusa spoke in support.
“Puna is way behind in terms of infrastructure,” she said.
The commission ranked the property adjacent to Ahalanui Park as No. 13 and property adjacent to Kipapa Park as No. 10 on its prioritized list of lands to acquire for public access.
The land adjacent to Kipapa Park is about 10.77 acres.
The report lists anticipated uses as expansion of the park, including public outdoor recreation and education.
The expansion would turn the recently acquired park into a “combined 15-acre recreation area suitable for walking, biking, jogging, picnics and parking,” the report says. A council resolution says the park would be expanded to 16.8 acres.
The report also notes the property hosts documented ancient habitation, agriculture, ceremonial and burial sites, which could be used for education. The document says a purchase could act as a buffer between development and those areas.
According to the report, the property was listed for sale at $2.75 million but was taken off the market. A French bank, BNP Paribas, acquired it through foreclosure in 2012.
Neither of the two parcels that make up the land had tax assessments listed on the county’s Real Property Tax Office’s website.
The property was approved for a 120-unit condominium.
The 2.045-acre property next to Ahalanui Park includes a small sand beach, according to the commission’s report.
It also includes a historical area with “rock walls of significance,” the report says.
The property is assessed at $401,400.
Stephens Media Hawaii reporter Nancy Cook-Lauer contributed to this report.
Email Tom Callis at email@example.com.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.