I wanted to share this article with you which was published in the Friday, November 18, 2011 edition of the Garden Island Newspaper:

New Hanalei Bay Rules in Effect

LIHU‘E —  Rules regulating commercial activities in Hanalei Bay area went into effect Nov. 7, impacting a variety of commercial activities on state lands, including boating, surf instruction, kayak rentals and more.

Hanalei Pier from Black Pot Beach Park, Hanalei

Clifford Inn, acting spokesman for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, said the day after the rules went into effect, a “whole bunch of people” showed up at the DLNR office in Nawiliwili to apply for permits.

“There was a line at the door,” he said.

Ed Underwood, administrator at DLNR, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, said the rules pertain only to state lands.

“It doesn’t affect private property,” said Underwood, adding that commercial activities carried on private lands, including a weekend fair run by Michael Sheehan, are outside of DLNR jurisdiction.

The county is trying to condemn Sheehan’s property, also used for many years as boatyard, which has been the stage of a long legal battle over legality of permits. The Kaua‘i Planning Commission in 2010 revoked Sheehan’s permits, but an appeal is pending in the Hawai‘i Intermediate Court of Appeals.

The rules state that “no commercial vessel shall load or unload passengers in Hanalei Bay ocean waters or the lands adjacent thereto without a permit issued by the department and approval by the County of Kaua‘i.”

Activities conducted on county property are also outside of the DLNR jurisdiction. Underwood said the county of Kaua‘i, which owns Black Pot Park in Hanalei, is coming up with its own rules for the park.

Amended rules

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Aug. 12 approved amendments to Chapter 13-256 of the Hawai‘i Administrative Rules, following public hearings held July 6 on Kaua‘i and July 7 on O‘ahu (the rules also affect O‘ahu’s Kaneohe Bay).

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the approved amendments on Oct. 26, and sent it to the Lieutenant Governor Office, which filed the amendments on Oct. 28.

On Nov. 7 the amendments went into effect.

The amended rules limit the number of commercial use permits to five for self-propelled vessels to load and unload at Hanalei Bay.

Priority is given to the companies that held a commercial permit and operated under such permit in November of 2000. But the number of allowable permits could drop to three, through attrition of the initial permittees.

The rules limit the permits to passenger vessels certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry up to 25 passengers. Permits authorize the carrying of no more than 30 passengers daily.

Kayak tours are limited to two commercial use permits for the Hanalei launch ramp. The maximum number of passengers per trip per permit is limited to eight, and no more than 30 passengers per day.

Surfing instruction are also regulated. The DLNR will issue up to eight permits for commercial water sports instruction within Hanalei Bay ocean waters, including surfing and stand-up paddle.

• Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or [email protected].

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