Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Can the County Help Clear Our Gulch?

November 14, 2016, 2:00 PM HST
* Updated November 14, 4:07 PM
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File image of Kula Forest Reserve located above the Waiohuli subdivision. Heavy water flows filled the gulches in the upper elevations during the 2007 Winter storms on Maui. Photo by Wendy Osher.

File image of Kula Forest Reserve located above the Waiohuli subdivision. Heavy water flows filled the gulches in the upper elevations during the 2007 Winter storms on Maui. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Dear Mayor Arakawa:

Q: My home is alongside a shallow gulch in a Kula neighborhood. During heavy rainstorms, water has run through the gulch, flowing to a culvert, where it travels under a street and joins with another gulch.

This summer, the gulch has become infested with a thicket of castor bean plants. The plants are now over 10 feet tall and growing rapidly (and going to seed), and are closely packed together. I am very worried that water flow during a hard rain will become blocked by this thicket of castor beans, and could cause flooding at my home or other homes in my neighborhood.

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Who is responsible for keeping the gulches clear of plants? Our community homeowners’ association owns the gulch; however, when I asked them to work on removing the plants, they told me they didn’t have funds allocated for this work and would not help me.

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What should I do? Can the county help?

A: While our Public Works department may consider assisting on a case-by-case basis, the responsibility for maintenance of your gulch ultimately rests with your homeowner’s association.

To file a Request for Service regarding a gulch or other issue, visit www.mauicounty.gov/RFS.

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