Front Street property once at center of lawsuit, proposed for park space

June 24, 2010, 7:17 AM HST · Updated June 24, 7:19 AM
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A final environmental assessment has been accepted for the county’s plans to license the Youth Center at the Lahaina Recreation facility to the West Maui Boys & Girls Club.  Because there are membership fees and age limits, the county space would be taken out of protection for public use.  The county proposes to mitigate the taking of the space with a replacement property to be used for public use along Front Street in Lahaina.  A finding of no significant impact has been determined. 

Proposed Front Street Park property looking south. Photo Courtesy: State of Hawaii, OEQC)

The Youth Center portion of the Lahaina Recreation Center is 16,315 square feet and constitutes the area to be taken out of 6(f) Protection, which requires that a property be retained in public use for outdoor recreation.  The law requires that when a property is converted to a use other than outdoor recreation, it must be replaced with property that is of at least equal fair market value and equivalent recreation utility. 

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The proposed replacement property was acquired by the County of Maui by Resolution in April 2007 in a settlement of a state lawsuit and appeal.  The previous owner had planned to build a single family home on the property, however, due to internal issues, the previously approved permits were retracted, which resulted in the lawsuit.  The property is located a few blocks north of historic Lahaina Town and just north of Kapunakea Street. 

The replacement property, located at 1377 Front Street is 0.494 acres and is situated between Front Street and the shoreline.  The undeveloped parcel would be improved for passive shoreline recreation with picnic tables, fencing and landscaping.  The improvements are expected to be complete by 2012.

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