UPDATE County Council Votes in Favor!! (1/16/15)
Second a final vote by Council was unanimous this morning, so now move to Mayor Arakawa for signature
(12/19/14) This morning the last County Council of 2014 saw the eight members present unanimously vote in support of the MPQ, or Monkey Pod Quartet, the southernmost four ones in the grove of 14 along SKR , nominated as “exceptional trees,” in this latest step in the long history of the trees which have shaded a portion of sunny Kihei for about a half century. Merry Christmas to Kihei!.
KCA was among the numerous public testifiers on this issue, all offering strong support. While this was the first of the two required readings, we fully expect it will also be approved at second reading in 2015 as well. Stay tuned
cooling, shade, wind abatement, synthesis of carbon dioxide, bird habitat and natural beauty, but we see limited evidence of that policy along our roads and streets, especially along S. Kihei Rd (SKR). The one extreme exception to this lacking is a single block on the makai side fronting two residential/vacation condos in the 900 block area of of SKR in No. Kihei, with the glorious stand of 14 monkey pods, 4 of which we are being considered for ‘”exceptional tree” status by the County Council.
The Council is certainly aware that allowing specific tress to be named exceptional does not guarantee their safety or natural perpetuity, but simply offers a layer of protection, and boy do these trees need protection
While many are only aware of the unfounded threats and attacks on them in this century, more senior KCA and community members advise of similar attacks in the late 20th century as well..
But just going back to 2011, which is what we understand prompted this proposed action which took all these years to reach the Council, these four stately trees were the scapegoats for many ills. They were blamed for south Maui flooding (remember the “mud floods” which resulted in brown kai for almost 6 months in Maalaea bay, just 4 years ago). They were blamed for the poor paved condition of SKR, as well as the dire need for continuous sidewalks. And yet the only true issue was some sidewalk installed over the tree roots was upset because root guards were not installed beneath the sidewalk, which was easily and inexpensive rectified by DPW paving the walking path with asphalt which can expand, unlike concrete, and several years later is still in place functioning fine, with only a single easily repaired crack, while the trees remain performing of all stated advantages for the community. Mahalo DPW Director Goode.
Meanwhile after all these years we still await the Kihei Master Drainage Plan which the Council has funded. While this can really address our flooding concerns, plan release is postponed to 2105, with projection for August,1 now.
So what makes tress “exceptional?” Definition: From HRS 58 – 3 (4)
For the purposes of this section, “exceptional trees” means a tree or stand or grove of trees with historic or cultural value, or which by reason of its age, rarity, location, size, esthetic quality, or endemic status has been designated by the county committee as worthy of preservation. The term “exceptional trees” does not apply to trees planted for commercial forestry operations in each county within the State. Exceptional trees may be designated generally by biotaxy or individually by location or class. [L 1975, c 105, pt of §2; am L 1977, c 69, §1]
Our point is this stand or grove (along with the other trees, which were nominated separately, but are not being considered at this time) by age ( seemingly over 50 years old), location, size, & esthetic quality are certainly worthy of preservation
We are all aware that these trees will not live for ever. However while they are still performing many valuable services for the community, let’s insure they can live in peace. To submit testimony, write to: County.Clerk@mauicounty.us
If you are not familiar or have fuzzy memory, here are some reports when the Administration began setting up to remove them without any community input about 4 years ago & the outcome of that that attempt.