Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 1162




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Seventh State Legislature

Regular Session of 2013

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 1162 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to make permanent Act 160, Session Laws of Hawaii 2010 (Act 160), which would otherwise sunset on June 30, 2013.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Office of Planning, Hawaii Association of REALTORS, and two individuals.


     Act 160 requires landowners in shoreline areas to ensure that public transit beach corridors are passable and free from human-induced, enhanced, or unmaintained vegetation that blocks transit.  Landowners that induce or allow their vegetation to grow below the shoreline are asked to remove or trim the vegetation.  When landowners fail to comply, Act 160 allows the Department of Land and Natural Resources to issue a notice of violation to the landowner, assess penalties, and charge landowners for the cost of removal if the landowner fails to remove an obstruction.


     Your Committee finds that coastal vegetation is an integral part of the native ecosystem and can provide an important ecological and environmental function, including coastal flood

mitigation.  However, when certain species of coastal vegetation are allowed to grow unfettered in an urban beach environment, they may create community-wide problems.  Coastal vegetation that extends seaward of its natural range can impede public access by creating a barrier at the fragile intersection of submerged and fast lands.  Moving vegetative barriers inland allows homeowners to maintain the privacy barriers they have grown accustomed to, while fostering healthy shoreline access and beach use on a heavily used urban beach.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water and Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1162 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water and Land,