VIDEO: Maui Lani Park and SMA Bill Survive in Legislature
By Wendy Osher
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P05OUo0xC7k /] The proposed Maui Lani Park system in Central Maui was among the projects that gained financial backing this legislative session. Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa detailed some of the key legislative items saying Maui County was able to secure over $200 million in Capital Improvement Projects.
“We want to thank all of our legislators for working very hard for that,” said Mayor Arakawa in an interview with Maui Now.
According to Mayor Arakawa, the state agreed to buy a portion of the A&B subdivision next to Maui Lani for the project. “That, coupled with our approval to purchase 242 acres, and allow us to develop an area equivalent to close to 400 acres of new park space. That will be a great improvement for Maui County,” said Mayor Arakawa.
Another item that passed this legislative session was a bill that raises the threshold for shoreline management permits (SMA) from $125,00o to $500,000.
“Many of the people that are in the shoreline areas will now be able to do minor improvements to their homes and businesses without having to do a major commitment to finance and major SMA,” said Mayor Arakawa. “It also allows people that are doing interior work, where the shoreline is not going to be affected by the new improvements, to not have to do an SMA,” said the Mayor.
Mayor Arakawa said the legislation would result in cost savings for businesses along the coastlines and coastal communities such as Paia.
One item that had the Mayor’s support, but failed to pass was a bill that supported the creation of a major film studio on Maui. “While that died in the end, it still has created enough of an interest statewide, that I believe it will be revived in the next legislative process,” said Mayor Arakawa, who described the project as, “another great economic engine.”
Mayor Arakawa thanked State Sen. President Shan Tsutsui and House Rep. Angus McKelvey for their support of the measure.
“If over 100 bills had not died at the last minute, this would probably have been one that would have gone through,” said Mayor Arakawa.