“The alarming construction of new homes onto the sand dune has generated many complaints among beach users,” Thielen said.  She also pointed out that recent erosion at Kailua Beach Park threatens the entire beach.  “Erosion at the park can propagate down the beach, leaving beachfront homeowners susceptible to coastal hazards.”  The legislation, in addition to protecting the value of existing development, will prevent new development in areas that may be threatened by the recent erosion problem.  Thielen continued, “I’ve worked on this piece of legislation for the past year with shoreline specialists from UH and the Department of Land and Natural Resources.  In analyzing the rates of erosion and northward propagation along Kailua Beach, and the potential for degradation of property values, we determined that an interim moratorium on construction makai of existing structures was in the public’s best interest.”

“The Kailua shoreline is one of our community’s most valuable resources.  The wide, sandy beach is not only a community treasure- it is the reason that property values are so high along the shoreline.  We are preserving a natural resource for community use, and protecting property values for owners of beachside residences.”

Kailua Beach is a unique jewel within the Hawaiian Island chain, as one of only a few accreting, urban coastlines that is entirely unarmored.  Kailua Beach‘s development history, with large open areas makai of beachfront homes, has allowed the beach and dune system to remain intact and healthy while residential lots have been used to their highest and fullest potential.  This has created a win-win situation where private property owners and the general public each enjoy full use of this beautiful coastline.  The bill’s intent, states Thielen, “is to ensure that everyone has the best possible opportunity to coexist along Kailua‘s coast for the decades to come.”

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