HILO, Hawaii – A resolution to authorize the county to negotiate for the purchase of land at Hakalau Point drew testimony and an exchange between Hawaii County Council and the landowner on Thursday.
Steve Shropshire, who has plans to redevelop the scenic parcels, told the council during a Finance Committee meeting that he is willing to sell but that his conditions must be met. That includes the county purchase of an 80+ acre valley mauka of the popular Hakalau Beach Park.
The county is bound by law to offer no more than their evaluation of the land.
A number of community members testified on the value of the land as open space, or a as a park. The 8.7 acre property was listed as priority No. 3 for purchase in the 2015 Annual Report of the Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Commission. The Hawaii County Council must authorize acquisitions on a case by case basis in order to begin the negotiation, which can then take years to complete, if successful at all.
The resolution was introduced by Hamakua councilwoman Valerie Poindexter, and was given a positive recommendation by the Finance Committee.