View from the Obama beachfront vacation rental of Kailua beach in the moonlight
View from the Obama beachfront vacation rental of Kailua beach in the moonlight

BY MICHELE VAN HESSEN – Representative Cynthia Thielen (50th District: Kailua, Kaneohe Bay) introduced a bill to protect Kailua’s beachfront.  HB682 is a pilot project which establishes an interim construction moratorium along Kailua beach to prevent further erosion of the beach and to protect this valuable resource.

Purpose of this legislation is to protect development from coastal hazards; conserve and protect the beach, preserve recreational uses of coastal resources and minimize future impacts to the coastal ecosystem.   The project will not apply to any structure in which all necessary building permits have been approved prior to the establishment of the moratorium.

“As we all know, the southern end of Kailua’s beach is eroding, and the northern end is accreting,” explained Representative Thielen, adding that new construction should not be started on accreted lands because eventually accreted lands may experience future erosion due to natural migration.

The project will also review the effects of sea level rise as well as seek to better define the boundary between private property and public property within the coastal zone.

“It is important to protect and conserve Kailua Beach by minimizing current and future impacts of shoreline erosion. The time to do that is now while the only structure on the beach is the boat ramp,” said Representative Thielen.

HB 682 would proactively manage the Kailua coastal sediment and environmental systems and be evaluated by DLNR, the University of Hawaii, and appropriate agencies for effectiveness two years from the date of its establishment or when the DLNR determines the moratorium is no longer effective.

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