The Makapu`u Lighthouse marks one end of the newly reclassified Ka Iwi Scenic Shoreline.
The Makapu`u Lighthouse marks one end of the newly reclassified Ka Iwi Scenic Shoreline.

The Governor announced that the State Land Use Commission (LUC) voted unanimously to reclassify the Ka Iwi Scenic Shoreline from urban to conservation.

The area encompasses approximately 215 acres of state-owned land on O`ahu’s south-east coast between Queen’s Beach and the Makapu`u Lighthouse. The reclassification by the LUC helps ensure the preservation and conservation of the makai region of the pristine Ka Iwi Coast.

“The reclassification should make future development of this portion of the Ka Iwi Coast a remote possibility in keeping with the wishes of the East Honolulu and greater O`ahu community,” said Governor Lingle.  “I applaud the many individuals and organizations throughout the community who have worked tirelessly and passionately to protect this pristine part of our state.  In particular, I want to thank Abbey Mayer of the Office of Planning for implementing this re-designation, as well as the Livable Hawai`i Kai Hui and Representative Gene Ward for their initiation of this process.”

The Hawai`i Kai and Waimanalo communities have fought for decades to save the last open-space lands on the southern coast of O`ahu from development, as land owners have changed and brought forth new development proposals.  The Department of Land and Natural Resources has improved the Makapu`u Lighthouse trail and Makapu`u Beach Overlook within the last several years to make this area more accessible to nature lovers and hikers.

“This action ensures that the entire coastline, from Hanauma Bay to Makapu`u will remain undeveloped well into the future,” said Mayer, director of the State Office of Planning, whose office filed the petition for the reclassification in January 2009.  “I have been honored to be able to play a role in preserving this legacy for generations to come.”

“This is a great day for East Honolulu,” said Rep. Ward.  “In the beginning, we were told that such a reclassification couldn’t be done due to a lack of resources and time, plus it hadn’t been done anywhere for more than a decade.  But we all worked together as a community with the Governor’s office and now the preservation of the Ka Iwi coast has become a reality.”

The Governor noted the battle to preserve Ka Iwi for future generations is not over.  The mauka area is not designated conservation, and the potential development of this land remains of paramount concern to the community.

“My Administration will continue to work with the community to preserve this important part of what makes Hawai`i so special,” the Governor said.

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