No decision yet on temporary night closure of Kailua Pier

  • The proposal follows increased violations of Hawaii Revised Statutes and Administrative Rules, including consumption of alcoholic beverages, smoking, storage of personal items, camping, sleeping and littering. A sign posted April 16 clearly noted the rules. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

A determination has yet to be made on a proposal to impose a temporary closure of Kailua Pier starting next Saturday.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation is still seeking public comment on closing the pier from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. seven days a week beginning May 15. The closure proposal is being floated as a means to address homelessness and illegal activities taking place at the pier.

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During those hours, no member of the public will be permitted access on the pier. Violators would be subject to warnings, citations and/or arrest for trespass on state land.

“DOBOR has not made a final determination as to whether the closure will go into place on May 15, 2021. It continues to collect and assess public comments with respect to the proposed closure and daily conditions it encounters on the Pier,” the division said in an emailed response.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 29 responses from community members had been received. Twenty-three were in support of the closure and six opposed, according to the division.

“Three commentators noted the importance of fishing to them and their kupuna during hours of the proposed closure and requested the Pier remain open. DOBOR has likewise agreed to appear before the Game Management Advisory Commission to obtain their comments on the proposed closure,” the division said. “The District gives great weight to commentators speaking to traditional practices and the effects the proposed closure would have on these.”

Since announcing the proposal, DOBOR has seen changes at the pier.

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“Initially after the proposed closure long term unsheltered individuals known to DOBOR on the Pier were more mindful of their conduct and behavior,” the division said. “The phenomena of ‘homelessness’ however does not lend itself to straight line trends either good or bad.”

To submit comments, email DLNR-DOBOR at dlnr.bd.kailua-konapier@hawaii.gov or call the Hawaii District Office at (808) 327-3685.

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