Those environmental enthusiasts who are in the market for West Maui real estate will likely appreciate a big decision that was just made on an ecologically sensitive piece of land in Kapalua.
Governor Neil Abercrombie recently visited Maui and authorized a $20 million appropriation for the purchase of Lipoa Point to preserve the land for future generations. At the bill signing, he once again expressed his intention to focus on the needs of the neighbor islands like Maui, rather than acting primarily on Oahu’s interests. This visit to the island has certainly reinforced the people’s confidence on that score, especially from prospective Maui real estate owners who want to be sure that they are investing in locations where state and county officials cooperate effectively in the lawmaking process.
The bill authorized the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to acquire 80 acres of coastal land surrounding Honolua Bay. Abercrombie called this area “one of the most iconic landmarks in Hawaii.” The land formerly belonged to Maui Land & Pineapple Co., which opposed last year’s preservation ideas during county General Plan discussions because of their concerns for the devaluing of the land and subsequent undermining of pension agreements for their workers. This bill, however, includes payment for the pensioners, so lawmakers consider it a win-win.
Lipoa Point is an important cultural site for Native Hawaiians, and several endangered plant and animal species reside there. Now these stunning acres will be kept free from future development so its ecological treasures will remain protected, and so that Maui residents and visitors can enjoy its beauty in perpetuity.
This decision was a huge win for the Save Honolua Coalition, a community group who has been pushing for this for seven years, and they found their efforts especially validated by the governor’s trip to Maui for the signing of the bill.
“It’s more than I ever dreamed of to have this moment in time where community can have this level of completion. It’s rare,” said John Carty, the Vice President of the Save Honolua Coalition. “A lot of time, important causes don’t get a big moment like this one.”
It really is a special achievement when you consider the groups that came to an agreement on this bill, including several who are on opposite sides of the fence on many issues, such as business, labor and environmental groups, among others.
For now, we can appreciate the impressive cooperative spirit here, and hope for more of the same in the future. Mahalo for reading this week! If you need any assistance with your Maui real estate search, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page.