New location, but extended process continues to benefit Oneloa (Makena) State Park


1-6-19 #kihei

Last week, on January 3rd, the Oneloa Coalition (OC) assembled at Tante’s Fish Market at the Maalaea shops. 

The Oneloa Coalition was organized back in 2009 to “ensure the preservation of historical sites and natural ecology at this State Park” and the Kihei Community Association is among the named stakeholders. There are various individuals and organizations who are members of the Coalition. For example, several state park employees are members.

Each meeting, under the continuing guidance of Maui Tomorrow’s Executive Director Albert Perez, commence with a reading of the mission of the OC .

As established in 2018, the Paniaka Pond Subcommittee of the OC has a meeting prior to the general OC meeting. Restoration of the Paniaka Pond has long been a strong focus of the OC for the over the past five years. The Kihei Community Association (KCA) is unable to participate in that Paniaka Pond meeting, although most of the other OC members do. That being said, the KCA does attend all of the OC meetings, though many other entities do not.

In addition to the concerns regarding Paniaka Pond, there has been a divisive and as yet unsettled issue regarding the lack of restroom facilities at Oneloa State Park. One side of the argument is that the natural setting is supposed to be rustic and untouched, with no manmade buildings in the environment; the opposing point of view is that there is a greater concern with the impact on the land and its surroundings when thousands of visitors, locals and tourists alike, spend hours in the area without such facilities.

Several years ago, there was a site visit at the park which seemed to determine the plan for the construction of facilities, but that did not come to fruition.So again new proposals are offered, but each time a plan is almost in place, different entities become involved and the resulting plans are rejected.

This is because while the member organizations of the Oneloa Coalition have continued their participation in the OC, some of the individuals representing those organizations change. For example, the park superintendent changed from Phil Ota to Larry Pacheco in an ultimately smooth transition, but no so for many of the other parterners

Also, there have been changes with the surrounding development around the Oneloa State Park.

The plan at this point is to compare and contrast various solutions regarding the need for restroom facilities.

We are hopeful this restroom plan and its various solutions may be available for the next meeting on February 13.

Meanwhile, subcommittees continue to help formulate park master plans, OC outreach, and fundraising for the Oneloa Park Coalition.

See numerous prior reports.