(BIVN) – Vendors operating on the roadways along the Kalapana Viewing Area have been told to cease commercial activity in the County right-of-way.
Today before the Hawai’i County Council Finance Committee, Civil Defense administrator Talmadge Magno explained the reasoning behind the county’s tough new approach to enforcing the county code.
Magno said an informal community meeting will be held to address questions and concerns. A county media release later reported the meeting will be held at the Pāhoa Community Center on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
According to officials, the county plans to enforce the ordinance that bars vendors from operating on County roadways and shoulders amid safety concerns. Officials are focusing on vendors currently operating on roadways in the Kalapana area.
The County will “strictly enforce the provisions of Hawai’i County Code § 22-2.5, beginning July 1, 2018,” which prohibits commercial activity within any County right-of-way, the administration reports. Failure to comply with this deadline may result in monetary fines as provided in HCC § 24-16.
The County also plans to move the parking area for vehicles to the second gate of Highway 130 to reduce the walking or biking distance to the park boundary.
The County hand-delivered and mailed a letter on April 11 to the affected vendors, some of whom were renting bicycles or selling food or other items to visitors to the Kalapana volcano viewing area.
The letter, originating from the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency, reads:
NOTICE TO VENDORS AT KALAPANA
This notice is to inform you that the County will initiate enforcement of the law that prohibits commercial activity within any County right-of- way. Pursuant to Hawai‘i County Code (“HCC”) §22-2.5, no portion of a County street, which includes any “county owned and maintained street, highway, or right of way,” shall be used for purposes of vending, selling, renting or leasing any goods, wares, food, merchandise or other kinds of property. Enforcement is necessary to alleviate bicycle accidents and disruption to residents in the area.
The County will strictly enforce the provisions of HCC § 22-2.5 beginning July 1, 2018.
By that date, all vendors currently operating on the roadway or shoulders must vacate all portions of the roadway. Failure to comply with this deadline may result in monetary fines as provided in HCC § 24-16.
The County intends to move the parking area for vehicles to the second gate of Highway 130 to reduce the walking or biking distance to the park boundary. The County will provide guidance to vendors who wish to continue to operate on suitable locations off the roadway.
An informal community meeting will be held to address any outstanding concerns or questions as detailed below:
Date: April 25, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Pahoa Community Center
Who: Affected entities and County personnel
Please note that the meeting is being held for your convenience. The County continues to be dedicated to the safety and well-being of its residents. Mahalo for your understanding.