LETTER: “Rock and Brews” Bar Unwelcome in Paia
By Rose Potter, executive director, Paia Merchants Association
The Paia Merchants Association works to maintain the town’s vibrant commercial district by honoring the area’s unique seaside culture and history while looking toward the future.
Unregulated formula-based businesses potentially threaten this goal and could lessen our town’s appeal. Our interests lie in maintaining and enhancing the economic vitality and diversity that currently exists in Paia.
We want to be clear in that our purpose is not protectionist in nature, but is reasonable when related to preserving our community’s unique character and charm. This in turn contributes to a higher quality of life for residents and supports tourism and our town’s popularity. The diversity of our north shore Maui town would be threatened by the intrusion of an inherently non-unique formula business.
By stating that the “renovation/refurbishment” of a 3585 square foot building will only cost $435,000, Rock and Brews receives an SMA Minor permit and effectively avoids the public hearing required by an SMA Major permit (for properties costing over $500,000).
We have sent letters contesting the project valuation to the Department of Public Works and the Planning Department that both deemed the valuation correct. Without the SMA Major there is currently no other opportunity for public input/opinion within Maui County’s permitting process.
We have met with the developing partners to review their “Paia calibrated” plans for the proposed Rock and Brews with no tangible results. We would like to see information other than what is presented on the Rock and Brews website, which was stated by the developers as being not representative of the proposed Paia location. We ask that those plans be made public and offer to provide the developing partners the opportunity to present those plans to concerned community members at a public hearing. (Date TBA.)
Based on available resources in print and online, we are doubtful that Rock and Brews will add anything of value to Paia town other than the time and money spent on renovating a neglected property.
Based on overwhelmingly negative feedback from merchants, community members and visitors alike we are asking for due process, transparency, and a public forum to address concerns and the potential negative impact this could have on Paia’s future.
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