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

David Goode

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.


Jon Miller


Kihei Community Association