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Residents want Napili to replace Kapalua as key subarea in community plan

By Staff | Dec 26, 2019

Napili is missing in this map in a draft version of the West Maui Community Plan.

WEST MAUI – A draft West Maui Community Plan has been published at “https://wearemaui.konveio.com/draft-west-maui-community-plan”>wearemaui.konveio.com/draft-west-maui-community-plan.

The key word here is “draft.” It’s not finished, far from it. The process is ongoing, and West Maui residents are encouraged to read it and provide testimony at either a Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) meeting or e-mail wearewestmaui@mauicounty.gov.

According to the proposed plan, West Maui is divided into four subareas, “identified generally by a commonly known place name for each. Each subarea extends like a wedge mauka to makai, but these subarea delineations are not political or regulatory boundaries. They serve to help tell the story of West Maui by grouping communities together.”

The designated subareas are Kapalua, Kaanapali, Lahaina and Ukumehame, clearly depicted on the map on page 1-11.

Unfortunately, to an enclave of West Siders, Kapalua is out of place, and Napili is missing.

“Kapalua is a development,” one Napili Native Hawaiian woman confided, not a place name with centuries-old connection to the upper West Side.

Napili is one of a dozen ‘ahupua’a situated within the Aha Moku of Kaanapali, including Honokowai, Mo’omoku, Mahinahina, Kahana, Mailepa’i, ‘Alaeloa, Honokeana, Napili, Honokahua, Honolua, Hononana, and Honokohau.

Kaipo Kekona sits on the Aha Moku Council, representing Kaanapali. He also served on the Maui General Plan Advisory Committee. The 36-year-old father of four has lived in Napili since he was nine years old.

“The biggest problem for me on this is you could just let it go, believing it was a simple oversight. When dealing with a community plan, you can’t make a simple oversight of an entire community. What does it say about the rest of the plan?

“If you guys missed out on an entire community and one of the oldest communities,” Kekona continued, “if you go back, all of the plantation camps were in Napili.”

In addition, Kekona pointed out that the West Side County Council representative, Tamara Paltin, lives in Napili as well.

“We are being swallowed by this larger development of gentlemen estate housing in Kapalua. But it doesn’t mean we don’t exist,” he said.

Native son Glenn Kamaka has lived in Napili since he was born in 1950. His reaction to the hole in the map was incredulous.

“Why? They can’t just take Napili off the map. Oh no. They can’t do that.”

The 1968 Lahainaluna High School graduate has been engaged in the planning process. He attended three CPAC meetings.

“We talked about it at the CPAC meeting at Maui Prep,” he advised. “We made sure that they didn’t neglect us in this area.”

“Napili is rich in history,” Kamaka recalled. “It was never Kapalua; it was Honokahua Camp,” he said.

“First the camp was in Honolua,” he remembered, “then the camp was relocated to Honokahua,” after the Aleutian Islands-generated tidal wave in 1946.

“You can’t just skip Napili and claim it is an oversight,” he reasoned.

Su Campos, prolific op-ed writer, had a more explosive reaction. She is the president of Napili Action Group (NAG) and has thrown her hat in the ring two times unsuccessfully as an independent candidate for the Maui County Council. She has volunteered over the years and was appointed to serve on the Board of Variances and Appeals and as president of Mayor Linda Lingle’s West Maui Advisory Group.

She is no fan of the planning process.

“I will state this one more time… community plans are useless, time-consuming work by residents. The county or state at any time can have any parcel rezoned and not follow the community plan. It is just hype, making new residents believe that their input really matters. The few of us who have lived in West Maui for over 45-plus years know that it is never up to the public,” she said.

The founder and president of the Napili Bay and Beach Foundation, Pat Lindquist, is an ever-positive voice.

“Just want to go on record, as your planning process is moving forward, that Napili has apparently been eliminated on your overview map of West Maui (page 1-11). We haven’t gone anywhere, have been actively participating in these planning sessions and wish to be named as Napili on this map.”

All is not lost. Wearewestmaui remains open for community comments.

In addition, County of Maui Planning Program Administrator Pam Eaton will be consulting with Keeaumoku Kapu, the cultural advisor of Na Aikane o Maui Cultural Center, in February.

“I will let her know that Napili is the place name that should be used and not Kapalua, and also to assure that the community plan is focused on identifying the ahupua’a boundaries and its highly recognized resources of those specific areas,” he told the Lahaina News.

Community engagement is the key to the success of the West Maui Community Plan update.

“Over the course of two years, more than 1,535 people participated in 57 meetings, workshops, open houses, interviews and online activities,” the draft plan reads.

Read the plan. Be engaged.