(BIVN) – A handful of island residents attended a public hearing Wednesday night at the YWCA in Hilo, and even fewer testified on proposed Infrastructure Improvements at Maunakea Visitor Information Station.
The plan, which deals mostly with parking and traffic flow, requires a Conservation District Use Permit from the the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
According to the Final Environmental Assessment for the project, already accepted by the University of Hawaii:
The University of Hawai’i at Hilo is proposing a set of infrastructure improvements at Halepohaku to accommodate and address the increase in the number of visitors to the mountain; ensure the safety of visitors and workers; prevent unintended impacts to natural, historic, and cultural resources on the Halepohaku and adjacent parcels; and comply with the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan. The Proposed Action includes: removal of one longhouse; a new means of ingress and egress for vehicles to the VIS, including a new access lane and parking area, adjustments to existing VIS Parking Area 1, paving of an unimproved foot path to create a walkway connecting the new VIS Parking Area 2 with the VIS, and a new paved walkway to connect the new VIS Parking Area 2 to the existing longhouse, and drainage features; installation of two gates; and a new greenhouse. Project activities would occur on the University’s leased lands. The access to the ingress/egress and the new parking area would be through access points identified in the Halepohaku parcel lease.
Wednesday’s hearing began with a presentation on the proposed project, and was followed by a few oral testimonies.