Surf Schools need permits in Maui

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malibu, California
Posted on: Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Maui cracking down on illegal beach businesses

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By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau

WAILUKU, Maui Starting today, Maui County will begin stepping up enforcement against ocean-activity operators who use county beach parks without a permit.

County Finance Director Keith Regan said the county will work with the Maui Police Department to rid beach parks of illegal surfing schools, kayak tours, dive instructors and other commercial ventures.

Enforcement efforts will include warnings, permit suspensions and revocations, citations and the impounding of equipment. Citations may result in fines of between $100 and $1,000, depending on the violation.

"Illegal operators were taking advantage of a weak law," Regan said in a statement. "Now that the law has been strengthened, we're going to go after those individuals and companies that do not comply."

The most complaints are coming from Kamehameha Iki, Puamana and Launiupoko beach parks in Lahaina and Kalama Beach Park in Kihei, Regan said.

Fifty operators hold permits valid through June 30 to do business in the parks. That's when new rules take effect and authority over the permitting process is shifted from the Department of Finance to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

During meetings last year to discuss the new permit rules, many operators complained about the lack of enforcement against those who were operating in the parks without permits.

The Maui County Council recently added an appeals process that allows operators to challenge actions taken by the department. Regan said that process will help with enforcement.

Under current law, businesses are not allowed to use Cove Park or enter the water at the north end of Kalama Park. They are also banned from Launiupoko Beach Park on weekends and holidays.

After the new rules take effect, Launiupoko will be closed to commercial use altogether, and other parks will be off-limits as well: Baldwin Beach Park and Ho'okipa Beach Park on the north shore, the three Kama'ole beach parks in Kihei and Puamana Beach Park in Lahaina.

Reach Timothy Hurley at thurley@honoluluadvertiser.com or (808) 244-4880.

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