Following a KCA Street Tree Committee meeting with Public Works Director David Goode on March 8, the Board of Directors voted unamimously to submit the requsted letter of agreement to the Director to leave the trees in place and get the sidewalk repaved as soon as possible. Here is the letter.
March 17, 2012
Director of Public Works
200 South High St.
Kalana O Maui Bldg 4th fl
Wailuku, HI 96793
Re: Monkey Pod Trees on South Kihei Road
Dear Mr. Goode,
Thank you very much for meeting with our Street Tree Committee and several of our
Board Members. The information you provided clarified the issues and allowed us to
make an informed recommendation.
The Kihei Community Association (KCA) has been deeply involved in improving the
quality of life in South Maui. We believe that our roadside trees are an important part of
achieving that goal. As a result, when the issue of the four Monkey Pod trees on South
Kihei Road came to our attention, we were interested in investigating options that would
allow the trees to remain. At the suggestion of the Mayor, the Street Tree Committee was
formed to help coordinate the resolution of this issue and to plan for future tree plantings
in our area.
The three solutions that you shared with us were: removal of the four trees and a new
sidewalk, transplantation of the four trees and a new sidewalk, and leaving the trees in
place and providing a new sidewalk, probably of asphalt.
Concerns have been heard that leaving the trees in place would impact future flood
improvements in South Maui. You shared with us the current plan for that effort. That
includes a new study of projected traffic in South Maui, quantification of needed
improvements, development of a plan for S. Kihei Road, the addition of that project to
the State Transportation Plan, and finally funding for the project. The funds for phase
one of this process were included in the County budget for next year. Your estimate was
that such a sequence of events would be a minimum of 6 years, and probably more. The
existing situation cannot remain for that long.
It was clear to the members at that meeting that the long term nature of the plan did not
justify the immediate removal of the existing trees. There is not any long term savings
from removing the trees at this time as if the future work was extensive enough to remove
the trees, the current sidewalk would be removed as well. The Tree Committee members
P.O. Box 662 • Kihei, Maui, Hawaii 96753 • Phone/Fax: (808) 879-5390
present at the meeting unanimously endorsed keeping the trees and replacing the
sidewalk in such a way as to minimize the impact on the roots.
Our Board of Directors has reviewed their recommendation and also supports that
approach. The KCA therefore recommends that the best solution for the community is to
leave the trees in place and repaving the sidewalk.
Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule, and we also thank Executive
Assistant John Buck of the Mayor’s Office and Executive Assistant Susan Clements from
Councilmember Couch’s office for attending. We look forward to working with all of
you on future issues facing South Maui.
Kihei Community Association