I've got an idea. Why not assess all the TVR owners who are running mini resorts with just cesspools along Hanalei Bay? As you can see from this graphic, there are quite a few, as represented by dark parcels with hatch marks. (Click on image to enlarge.) In fact, virtually every vacation rental on the beach has a cesspool, not a septic tank. And when you've got places that sleep 10 or more, well, we're talking about an awful lot of toilets flushing, an awful lot of shishi and doodoo seeping into the Bay.
So why, you might ask, would the county allow the equivalent of a 200-room hotel on Hanalei Bay without a septic system? Well, I can think of a few reasons: money, poor planning, money, disregard for the resources, money, short-sightedness, money, inability to see the big picture, money, outright stupidity, money, money, money.
Speaking of which, it's so rich that the Land Use Research Foundation — the lobbying arm for large landowners, developers and a utility — would object to extending the law that requires property owners to make sure their vegetation doesn't block accesses or the beach.
[L]andowners who live along the shoreline have important property rights, as well as the legal right to not be prosecuted by the State or to be charged fees for non-performance of maintenance obligations which should properly be performed by the State.
Yeah, well, the public has rights, too, including the right to prevent the elite from stealing our beaches by planting and maintaining landscaping on the sand, a devious and destructive process that I've documented extensively on this blog.
LURF wanted a full report on what has been done since the bill was passed in 2010. The answer is, unfortunately, not much. As I reported back in July, enforcement thus far has focused only beaches at Kahala and Diamond Head, though with very dramatic and positive results for those coastlines and the citizens who use them.
The state is apparently beginning to move against some of the more egregious offenders up in Wainiha, but it's a slow process for a cash-strapped state, which is why we need to bring some citizen efforts into the process. Like an Adopt-a-Beach program or something.
Mahalo to Rep. Derek Kawakami for co-sponsoring the bill, which was originally introduced by his predecessor, Mina Morita, who writes about the rationale here. Mahalo to Elaine Albertson for help with the graphic. And mahalo to The Garden Island's Léo Azambuja for keeping us informed on this and other key legislative issues.