After thousands of signatures and hundreds of testimonies pleading with Maui's County Council members to not urbanize Olowalu and cause the inevitable collapse of Maui's last, remaining healthy reef, a compromise was made to exclude lands makai of the highway to provide some protection to the reef from the 4,000 people proposed to live on the mauka side. A smart planning decision, considering those lands reside in a tsunami inundation zone and are likely to be submerged in the next 100 years, according to conservative sea level rise predictions.
However, a final hour Trojan horse amendment (The Maui News, Dec. 22) slipped into the Maui Island Plan facilitates the ability for developers to reurbanize those makai lands under the guise of protecting the reefs, enhancing public shoreline access, and implementing the pali-to-Puamana parkway (P2P) plan. What this actually translates to is 100 luxury oceanfront homes at Olowalu, a direct conflict with implementing the P2P plan, which clearly states "open space or park" (pages 8-64 of the MIP).
This blatant attempt to appease developers while deceiving the public speaks volumes about the allegiance of the majority of our council members and explains why our 20-year plan for Maui is all development and no green.
If we don't want our keiki to live on the next Oahu, we need to hold our council members accountable and remind them they are working for all the people who voted for them, not just special interest groups.