Heliport, West Maui

Authorizes the development of a heliport on the Olowalu sanitary
Landfill site to service the West Maui area (HB2185 HD1).

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 1        
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the West Maui
 2 community has often been isolated by brushfires, high waves, and
 3 major traffic accidents which have closed Honoapiilani Highway.
 4 When the highway is closed, incoming visitors cannot get to the
 5 hotels in Maui's most popular resort area, and departing visitors
 6 cannot get to the airport for their flights and are sometimes
 7 stranded for days.  The closing of the highway means lost
 8 business to the community and inconvenience for workers, and
 9 creates a health and safety concern for a community which lacks a
10 major medical facility.  
11      During the closing of Honoapiilani Highway, traffic is
12 rerouted through Kahakuloa on a road, which is narrow, poorly
13 paved, and with no shoulders along a steep cliff.  The options
14 for improvements to Honoapiilani Highway that are being
15 considered are costly with no certainty that they will prevent
16 West Maui from being cut off again.  Further, the residents of
17 Kahakuloa oppose the widening and paving of the road around
18 Kahakuloa.
19      The Maui visitor industry is working with the State and
20 county to develop a plan to deal with the closing of the highway

Page 2                                                     2185 
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1 during fires, high waves, and major accidents.  The plan may
 2 include actions to help visitors to fly out of Kapalua Airport or
 3 possibly using a ferry from Lahaina Harbor.  Medical emergencies,
 4 however, are best handled through an air medical service.
 5      The legislature finds that transportation alternatives have
 6 to be developed for the West Maui community to deal with
 7 emergencies when the Honoapiilani Highway is closed.  The
 8 legislature further finds that a heliport can be used to provide
 9 emergency medical services and can be used, in addition to other
10 alternatives being discussed such as air passenger service from
11 Kapalua and a ferry, to shuttle people from West Maui.
12 Helicopter operations, however, are not permitted at the Kapalua
13 Airport, and the private heliport in West Maui no longer exists.  
14      The county of Maui has expressed support for the development
15 of a heliport in West Maui to provide services to deal with the
16 situations cited above.
17      Helicopter operations have, however, been successfully
18 developed on former landfills on the mainland. The legislature
19 further finds that a heliport can be developed at the former
20 Olowalu sanitary landfill site, which was set aside by Executive
21 Order to the county of Maui, to provide emergency medical
22 services and fire safety service, as well as passenger service.
23 Although the landfill has been closed, the county of Maui, under
24 the executive order, is still responsible
25 for any loss or injury arising out of the landfill operation.

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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1   The leasing of portions of the landfill site will be consistent
 2 with the use authorized by the Executive Order because the
 3 revenues from the leasing of the landfill site will be used to
 4 reduce the county's costs in maintaining the site.  Further, such
 5 a facility, which will serve a public purpose, can be privately
 6 developed without the expenditure of state or county funds.  
 7      The legislature finds and determines that the development of
 8 a heliport at the former Olowalu sanitary landfill site is in the
 9 public interest and constitutes a valid public purpose.
10      SECTION 2.  Nothwithstanding any provision of chapter 171 or
11 any county ordinance to the contrary, the county of Maui, with
12 the prior approval of the board of land and natural resources,
13 may lease by negotiation and without recourse to public auction,
14 enter into a development agreement with a private developer or
15 developers for applicable portions of the area designated as the
16 Olowalu Sanitary Landfill for the development of an ancillary use
17 for the site to provide emergency medical services, fire safety
18 services, and other public safety services, in addition to
19 passenger services.
20      The leasing of portions of the land designated as the
21 Olowalu sanitary landfill shall not relieve the county of the
22 duty to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the State of Hawaii
23 against any loss, liability, claim, or demand for damage or
24 injury arising out of the landfill activity by the county.
25 Subject to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended,

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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1 and section 5(f) of the Admissions Act of 1959, all funds from
 2 the leasing of applicable portions of the area designated as the
 3 Olowalu Sanitary Landfill shall be used by the county of Maui for
 4 purposes related to the maintenance of the Olowalu Sanitary
 5 Landfill.
 6      SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.