In an editorial in the Honolulu Advertiser, lawmakers are urged to reconsider a bill next legislative session that addresses public beach access issues, which are on the rise as erosion continues to swallow Hawaii shorelines and threaten property owners and beach-goers alike. Recently, Kahala homeowners have been asked by the state to reduce vegetation that hinders public access.
The bill, HB 1037 HD1 SD1, would have required state agencies to account for sea-level rise and minimize risks from coastal hazards such as erosion, storm inundation, hurricanes and tsunamis. Its intent was to preserves public access and public shoreline access by requiring counties to account for annual erosion rates and extend the public land access to no less than 40 feet from the shoreline.
Bill History: HB1037 was introduced by Rep. Pono Chong, Ken Ito and Kyle Yamashita. It stalled in the Senate in 2007 and in April 2008 was re-referred in the House to the Water, Land, Ocean Resources & Hawaiian Affairs Committee and the Energy & Environmental Protection Committee.