County Eyes Puna Shoreline Purchase
The Hawaii County Council has OK’d the pursuit of a chunk of Puna shoreline.
The Council voted unanimously Dec. 18 to begin talks to acquire 322 acres bordering the Waiopae Marine Life Conservation District.
The resolution authorizes the County Finance Director to begin negotiations with the owners of two parcels owned by Vacationland Land Trust.
The two parcels were ranked seventh on a list of recommended shoreline sites for purchase by the County by the Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Commission (PONC).
Lower Puna council member Gregor Ilagan said acquiring the parcels would ease environmental concerns, serve as a protective buffer for the watershed, and preserve the water quality for Waiopae tide pools.
A PONC report to Mayor Billy Kenoi last December said acquiring the parcels would protect threatened monk seals at Waiopae tide pools, and noted the existence of historic burial sites on one of the properties.
County tax records list Clyde Takashi Abe, Arnold Tsuyoshi Abe, Ikuhisa LLC and Vacation Land Trust as owners of the Vacationland Land Trust.
Finance Department Deputy Director Deanna Sako was unfamiliar with the parcels when contacted Monday and referred Big Island Now to the PONC Web site for information.
The larger, 284-acre parcel extends mauka from the coastline to Kaimu-Kapoho Road. It is zoned agriculture with market value of $504,000, according to the county’s tax Web site.
The second parcel is 38 acres zoned residential but with negligible market value, probably because it consists largely of submerged lands.
The PONC report said the property is for sale. Money for the negotiated purchase would come from the county’s public access, open space, and natural resources preservation fund, which is replenished annually with 2% of the county’s general fund tax revenues.