This story is being updated.
(BIVN) – The State of Hawaii is moving forward with a plan to improve access to the popular Pololū Valley trail in North Kohala.
On Friday, the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved to join the Surety Kohala Corporation as a co-applicant in a Parcel Consolidation and Resubdivision, that would result in the eventual construction of an off-site comfort station and parking area near the valley lookout.
Land board members discussed the plan during a virtual meeting.
From the BLNR submittal:
The Division of Forestry and Wildlife (“DOFAW”) requests approval for the Department to apply as a co-applicant to the County of Hawai’i Planning Department in a Parcel Consolidation and Resubdivision (“PCRS”) application, and any other permits that are necessary for that purpose, together with Surety Kohala Corporation (“Surety”) and KP Holdings, LLC (“KPH”), for lands located in Pololū, North Kohala District, Hawaiʻi County, affecting Tax Map Key (TMK) (3) 5-1-001:005 in the Kohala Forest Reserve. The PCRS will create a 13-lot subdivision, and facilitate a donation to the State of Hawaiʻi, by its Board of Land and Natural Resources, two parcels, one of which is an in-holding in the Kohala Forest Reserve, TMK (3) 5-1-002:017, and the other a five-acre parcel, portion of (3) 5-2-005:012, intended for a comfort station and parking area for the Pololū Trail users. DOFAW’ s participation is essential because the PCRS application cannot be made without the inclusion of DOFAW managed State-owned parcel, TMK (3) 5-1-001:005, that is contiguous to three parcels owned by Surety and KPH. Surety will be responsible for the PCRS application and all associated costs, as well as any other permits that are necessary for that purpose.
The same land board document stated:
DOFAW currently manages Parcel 5 located in Pololu valley on Hawai ‘i Island as part of Kohala Forest Reserve. Pololū Trail, managed by the Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program, runs from Akoni Pule Highway, above the ridgeline, to the coastline makai of Lot A. Pololū Trail is a heavily used trail and the current parking area and lookout only holds space for twelve vehicles with no ADA parking, and is situated on a cliff with no guardrail. Once those parking spaces are full, visitors park along the edges of Akoni Pule Highway which can lead to dangerous situations for pedestrians walking down the highway to get to the trailhead. Lot B would offer relief for this situation by supplying a much larger designated parking area and comfort station for public recreational activities along Pololū Trail and in Kohala Forest Reserve. Lot A, an in-holding with the forest reserve, is in the public interest as it consolidates DOFAW’s management in the area by providing additional space for wildlife habitat management and public recreational opportunities.
The documents include this C-2 Exhibit showing a detailed map of the proposed subdivision.