The council will discuss visitor parking fees at certain Kaua’i beach parks

LIHU’E – Discussions with Kaua’i County Council over the details of visitor parking fees for the three county beach parks will continue next month.

At its meeting on Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a resolution allowing the County Park and Recreation Department to set parking fees in three county-owned beach parks and passed a bill at first reading to create a fee schedule.

Last July, the department studied parking habits at Black Pot Beach Park in Hanale, Lydgate Park in Wailua and Po’ipu Beach Park, and found that creating a forced parking structure could be a way to eliminate overuse of the park.

Bill No. 2843 includes a $ 10 price that is consistent with fees for state parks, including Ha’ena State Park and Waimea Canyon State Park, and does not apply to residents of Kaua’i.

It’s a “psychological price point where people would be willing to pay and not look for any other way to park their car,” said county executive Michael Dahilig.

The implementation of the bill, which is expected to be heard in public in February, is still in the air, and this is likely to be determined by a call from vendors for a proposal on the future implementation of the parking plan. Dahilig explained to the council.

They also discuss whether the charges would be hourly or flat rate, either as a metered or telephone application.

“We don’t necessarily believe we want to restrict a particular type of technology in an RFP (call for tenders) process, simply because we don’t know if all the conditions are met to meet that type of goal,” Dahilig said. “We want to concretize this through a suggestion, rather than necessarily telling us how to do it.”

Council members generally agreed with the visitor fee, pointing out that they would limit overcrowding in these areas and potentially provide more space for locals to enjoy these spaces.

Councilor Billy DeCosta, who previously worked at Koke’e, said he often noticed locals avoiding the scenic view because there was no parking space.

“After (the state) introduced these parking fees, there were places where locals could enjoy them,” DeCosta said. “Yeah, there were some overflowing parking lots by tourists on the side of the road, but that could easily be fixed if some sort of official check is done on it.”

Councilor Felicia Cowden said she would like more information to be provided before moving on, especially about the business community that may be affected if visitors park on their plots to avoid payment.

“What happens when someone comes to your business to get the product you take to the beach and then just walks away to the beach?” Cowden asked. “So then there are the car parks that are paid for and maintained by businesses with commercial plots – they give in all the remaining parking spaces.”

Cowden’s motion to postpone the resolution did not end up with a second.

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Sabrina Bodon, editor, available at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

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