There have been a couple letters recently that show how people will say anything without knowing facts just to further their cause.
A May 26 letter writer stated that an "urban forest" was removed at Ulua Beach access. A June 4 letter writer claims that the people of adjacent condos didn't know the extent of the park renovations, and that the county should accept the gift of replacing the removed monkeypods with new monkeypods.
These letters fail to give the readers the facts.
The Ulua project had been planned for many years, as a 2005 study done by the County of Maui indicated a need for additional parking at Ulua as well as other amenities, such as a second shower for commercial dive operators. The Wailea Community Association worked with the adjacent hotel developers to create a plan to provide the necessary amenities, and the developers had the plan approved by the Planning Department and planning commission as well as the parks department, all as part of its SMA. The Wailea Community Association provided information to the community at various meetings and on the WCA website so that, as the Florida Supreme Court once stated: "One may not remain willfully ignorant of a thing when the means of knowledge is at hand." Residents of Wailea had the means.
The facts are that there were five trees in the park and now there are 16. The other trees, presumably in the forest, were on private property of the hotel abutting the north side of the parking lot. Yes, many had to be removed to install a new mandated storm drainage system to accept runoff from above before it enters the ocean. The 16 trees that have been planted in the park are Milo trees, which were selected by the county arborist and also reviewed by a second arborist through WCA for their drought, wind and salt tolerance, as well as their ability to provide shade for the lot and a screen and wind break for adjacent residents. Monkeypods were not selected because of their invasive root systems in confined spaces.
One letter writer makes the assumption that the new parking paid for by the developer is "probably for their own use."
Let's look at the facts. First of all the, the association has agreements with all the hotels that they will not use the beach access lots for their own use, which is strictly enforced by Wailea patrol, which monitors the parking in all the beach access lots in Wailea to assure that only beach users are utilizing the stalls. Second, the new hotel is installing 10 additional stalls on its own property which adds more public beach access parking to the area. The other assumption insinuated by the letter writer to get the readers' ire up was that the county paid for the renovations.
Why not accept the gift that was provided to the county and residents of having the park renovated with an additional 17 parking stalls (plus 10 more to come at the hotel), 16 new trees, improved drop-off, second shower and more, all paid for by the developer and the Wailea Community Association?
And by the way, the WCA maintains this beach access as well as four other county accesses in Wailea, Kilohana Park and Dog Park and all the county roads/medians, saving the county more than $2 million each year.
* Bud Pikrone is the general manager of the Wailea Community Association.