The Makana Park Strip Issue

The Maui County Planting Strip

The 8' County shoulder of the road in Kuau Bayview

Throughout Kuau Bayview the main roads are 40 feet wide from curb to curb (we measured). On each side of the road is an 8 foot shoulder that is public land referred to by County workers as "the County right-of-way." This 8 foot shoulder is comprised of the curb, the sidewalk, and a 42" County planting strip. According to the Paia Postmaster, this arrangement does not accord with USPS "regulatory standards" which normally place the planting strip between the curb and the sidewalk. Nevertheless, this is how it is everywhere in Kuau Bayview. This unusual placement of the sidewalk gives the impression that the lots are larger and that they extend to the sidewalk, but that is not true. The property pins of the lots are located exactly 42" toward the house from the sidewalk.

File Plan 2181 showing width of Lae St

File Plan 2181 (on left) illustrates that County maps show the streets with their shoulders included in the measurement, ie. Lae St is marked as 56.01' wide, comprised of 8' + 40' + 8' = 56'. This is the very map which the owner of Lot 93 presented as proof that her property extends to the sidewalk, but she is misreading the map, because it actually proves that there is an 8' shoulder on each side of the road that is owned by the County. Yellow lines have been added to indicate the 8' shoulders.

Property Pin Locations

The slideshow on the right demonstrates that the survey pins on ALL lots in Kuau Bayview are consistently located 42" from the sidewalk. In the cul de sacs, the County strip is cemented which makes it very clear that the shoulder of the road extends 8 feet from the curb. Along the streets, wherever there are utility boxes, the cement jogs in exactly 42" in order to stay within the County planting strip. The 42" planting strip runs along the front of EVERY lot in Kuau Bayview, including Lot 93.

Plot Plans show the curb, sidewalk, and County strip

KB Plot Plans

All Kuau Bayview Plot Plans include markings for the County planting strip, the sidewalk, and curb next to the street.

Close up of Lot 93 Plot Plan & USPS map showing the curb, sidewalk, and County strip

Makana Park Strip Intended for Walking Access to the Park Entrance

A&B designed Kuau Bayview, a subdivision established in 1996, to be a walking neighborhood with walking access to Makana Park being a top selling point for the ERA realtors. To this end, a 35-40' wide section of park land was left outside the park fence along the mauka border of Lots 78, 79, and 93 intended as a short-cut for residents walking to the park entrance from the east side of Kuau Bayview. From 1996 until 2000 this strip of land was considered common area for Kuau Bayview and the HOA was responsible for maintaining it. When Makana Park was dedicated to Maui County on March 17, 2000, ownership of this strip transferred to the County as part of Makana Park and it henceforward became public land. The HOA did not become aware that this strip of common area had become part of the park until 2004 when MECO installed the electrical box for park irrigation on this strip.

Aerial view of Makana Park strip

In about 1997, the original owners of Lot 79 built a 4'chain link fence encroaching 15' x 68' into this park area to extend their back yard. They also planted Bougainvilleas on the hillside to block passage. This encroachment was finally remedied in Jan 2015 when Lot 79 was sold. Lot 79 encroaching fence 2003

The owner of Lot 93 then took over the entire area, installing an irrigation box, planting trees, and erecting a bamboo fence across the entrance. In this 1999 letter to the KB Design Committee, Karen Crowther/Chun proposed an agreement whereby she would be allowed to plant a garden on the "common area" until such time as the HOA would revoke the agreement. No such agreement was ever made and when the 2003 Board made a Motion (#7) in the 2003-10-20 Minutes "to preserve the right-of-way for the neighborhood now and in the future," she retaliated by harassing the Board members so viciously that the entire Board resigned. From 2004 to 2016 Karen Chun (KC) usurped this public land for her own use and verbally abused homeowners who dared to come near. On Nov 12, 2015 KC tried to get the HOA gardener arrested for cutting 2 small branches overhanging the sidewalk from the Plumeria tree she had planted on the County strip fronting her lot deliberately to hide and block the entrance to the park strip. The Board once again wrote to KC asking her to stop blocking this public access way, and once again she retaliated by demanding the HOA gardener be fired and threatening to sue the HOA, the Board, and each Director individually via a 4-page letter from Attorney Lance Collins demanding $75,000 in damages. She harassed the Board throughout Dec & Jan with numerous emails demanding documents, and then disrupted the Annual Meeting on Jan 7, 2016 by distributing a libelous flyer demanding the overthrow of the Board and threatening the HOA with a $3M lawsuit.

In the left photo below, you see the branch for which KC wants $75,000 in damages for "loss of timber" and on the right you see the size of the branch presumably her own gardeners cut. According to David Sakoda, County Arborist, this Plumeria tree belongs to the County regardless of who planted it because it is located on the County planting strip. KC continues to insist that her property ends at the sidewalk and has failed to disclose the location of her pin or have a surveyor mark it as we have requested. In accordance with the other lots in Kuau Bayview, the pin will be found approximately 42" inside the sidewalk and in line with her existing wooden fence. Simply disclosing the location of the SW corner survey pin will put this matter to rest.

Lot 93 Plumeria branches blocking access

In mid February 2016, Karen Chun had her gardeners cut a 5 foot wide opening in the solid hedge of vegetation that had existed along the property line she shared with the park making it possible for people to inadvertently walk across her lawn. She dumped the resulting piles of green waste onto the park land. On Feb 25, 2016 Karen confronted the 4 top County Park officials who came to inspect the dumping (see below) and apparently accused them of trespassing on her property. The next day she confronted the Makana Park Maintenance Supervisor and made the same false claim to her. The Parks Department made KC remove the green waste piles, but large rocks were then piled to block the gateway creating a tripping hazard.

Green wasted dumped onto Park Strip by KC

In reality, there is a 4 foot section of public land that connects the sidewalk to the park strip, but it has been deliberately blocked to the point where it has been completely hidden for many years. Owners have been deprived of this very convenient and safer walking access to Makana Park for far too long. We are grateful that the Parks Directors are finally addressing this longstanding public injustice and the Board will be holding a meeting on June 10th to do the same.

Gateway to the Park Strip blocked by KC in 2004 and 2015

Here is a slideshow of the east access-way to Makana Park which owners east of Lae St will be able to start using in the near future. Below is the survey pin for Lot 01 which is the mirror image of the layout across the street at Lot 93. It is exactly 8 feet from the curb and 42" inside the sidewalk.

Lot 01 survey pin exactly 8 feet from the curb

Board Meeting June 10, 2016

The Board and about 20 owners, babies, and dogs met at Makana Park at 5:30pm on Friday evening, June 10th. As everyone had already reviewed the background information(above), the group went to Lot 1 to examine the placement of the survey pin which had been uncovered and was plainly visible. A measuring tape was used to illustrate that it was exactly 8 feet from the curb. Then we went to the other side of the street and placed an orange marker rock 8 feet from that curb making sure that it was on the park side of the 8 feet. The marker made it clear that the public land comprising the gateway to the park strip is over 4 feet wide inside the rock wall. It is unfortunate that Then the President and HOA Manager moved the large rocks that had been placed in the pathway. We held a little ribbon-cutting ceremony to recognize the opening of this access way that owners have wanted to use since 2003. The group walked the full length of the park strip and along the pathway to the cane road. Some walked as far as Lot 60. Via a licensing agreement, A&B Properties has granted permission for owners to pass through the cane land to access the park strip, and Pyramid Insurance has confirmed that the HOA's existing GL insurance policy will cover this usage. The meeting went very well and owners were pleased to have a new walking access way to Makana park.

Aftermath

Within two days Malama Chun of Lot 93 had stolen the marker rock, the ribbon, and moved the rocks back into the walkway. On Tuesday morning at 8am, the Makana Park Maintenance Supervisor hammered in a metal pin marked "Property of Makana Park" to mark the edge of the public land, and moved the rocks out of the way herself. Malama immediately removed the pin and put the rocks back. He admitted in front of several witnesses that he had done this. He then had his friend, Hawaiian Canoe Club coach Ozzie Clarke, vandalize the property of the HOA Manager multiple times in retaliation for the Board's action in letting owners know about this public walkway which the Chuns had blocked off for many years. Ozzie Clarke was caught in the act, witnessed, photographed, and reported to Maui police.