Ask the Mayor: Is it Legal to Live on the Beach?

January 1, 2017, 12:00 PM HST · Updated December 30, 3:37 PM
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Maui Now stock photo. Dec. 2016.

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

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at [email protected], 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Hello,

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Q: Is it legal to set up camp and tents, etc. and live on the beach? I see people on the stretch of ocean front from Papalaua Campground to Launiupoko living in tents with no sanitary facilities whatsoever.

I see this particularly at Mile Marker 14 in Olowalu and also across from the Olowalu recycling center.

Some of them have been there for months.

If this is illegal, who enforces these laws? Obviously, nobody does because they are always there.

This is really becoming a problem with tourists and visitors complaining about verbal abuse from these people who think they own the beach there.

Please advise what you are currently doing to address this situation at Mile Marker 14, a popular tourist spot here on Maui, Mr. Mayor.

A: These beach areas along Honoapi‘ilani Highway are under state jurisdiction; however, our Maui County Housing & Human Concerns Department works closely with state agencies, the Maui Homeless Alliance and the Governor’s Leadership Team on Homelessness.

According to DLNR, due to the high volume of illegal long-term “campers” in the areas you mentioned, officers will be posting “Notice to Vacate” flyers on the tents and conducting more patrols in the area as staff are available.

For more information on the Maui Homeless Alliance, visit http://mhacoc.weebly.com.

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