THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

136

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 
   


SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

Requesting the Department of Land and Natural Resources to address the concerns of kokee state park lessees with expiring leases.

 

 

WHEREAS, the island of Kauai boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the State for backpacking, mountain biking, and horseback riding; and

WHEREAS, the natural beauty and resources of the Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Parks, portions of the Puu Ka Pele and Na Pali-Kona Forests Reserves, Alakai Wilderness, and Kuia Natural Area Reserve feature outstanding geological, biological, cultural, scenic, and recreational value; and

WHEREAS, these areas are one of the few remaining habitats for many threatened and endangered bird and plant species endemic to Hawaii; and

WHEREAS, these unique resources attract nearly 1,000,000 visitors and residents every year to the region, placing enormous strains on an already fragile ecosystem and budget constraints have exacerbated the limited and deteriorating infrastructure and facilities; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of the Island of Kaua'i were instrumental in the creation of these Parks over eighty years ago; and

WHEREAS, in subsequent years, a wide cross section of Kauai's citizens established a community consisting of over 100 lease holders within the two State Parks, several churches and other eleemosynary institutions; and

WHEREAS, the Koke'e community serves as a model of responsible stewardship for all of Hawaii, due to its many volunteer public service projects, including the renovation of major public facilities within the Parks; and

WHEREAS, the recreation-residential leases within the Parks are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2005; and

WHEREAS, the lessees have made improvements to their lots that have added substantial value to these state-owned properties; and

WHEREAS, many of these homes have been recognized by the State Historical Preservation Division as possessing substantial architectural merits; and

WHEREAS, if, at the conclusion of the present leases, lessees choose not to renew their leases or are not offered the opportunity to renew their leases, they will have spent their own moneys to improve state lands; and

WHEREAS, it may be costly and difficult to remove these permanent improvements, and questions are sure to arise as to the responsibility for such action; and

WHEREAS, the legislature finds that it is fair and equitable that these lessees be reimbursed for their permanent improvements that have added value to their leased properties; and

WHEREAS, section 184-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, authorized the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to make rules governing the use and protection of the state park system; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2002, the Senate concurring, that DLNR is requested to adopt rules to reimburse lessees who have made permanent improvements to leasehold residences at Kokee State Park; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources is requested to:

(1) Consider a fair, equitable, and reasonable extension of the term of the existing recreation-residence leases, so as to ensure that sufficient notice be provided to the lessees in accordance with law, prior to their expiration;

(2) Consider repealing the provision in the existing leases which requires the surrender of the improvements by the lessees to the State, to ensure that no private property is taken without compensation; and

(3) Determine how to best protect and maintain intact this exceptional community as a historic rural landscape; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DLNR shall report to the Legislature, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2003, on the progress of the adoption and implementation of these rules, complications encountered in the reimbursement process, along with remedial recommendations and recommendations regarding changes in present state policy that would fairly and equitably meet the needs of lessees while protecting the state's interest; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

Leased Residences in Kokee State Park; DLNR