Council Chair Ernie Martin Clarifies Bill 17 Relating to Shoreline Setbacks

20 03 2014
This photo is an example of shoreline area along the windward coast. Bill 17 would aid in limiting erosion of terrigenous soil into the ocean. The bill would not permit retaining walls on sandy beach fronts.

This photo is an example of shoreline area along the windward coast. Bill 17 would aid in limiting erosion of terrigenous soil into the ocean. The bill would not permit retaining walls on sandy beach fronts.

Council Chair Martin introduced Bill 17 to assist those property owners who are currently preempted from constructing retaining walls unless they can afford to go through the Department of Planning and Permitting for a variance. The process is currently extremely costly and time consuming, out of reach for many land owners, especially families on the windward side who have experienced years of continuous erosion of their property.

Retaining walls are not even considered under the current regulations, in spite of the fact that such retaining walls can effectively control soil erosion by way of terraced landscaping. If the bill were to be adopted, all standards would still apply and the property owner would still have to apply for a minor shoreline structure permit.

This bill would not allow sea walls or decks, and the retaining walls cannot be higher than 6 inches on its high side. Bill 17 simply seeks to make the rules more responsive to property owners looking for ways to control runoff and erosion which is clearly beneficial to the marine environment along certain sections of Oahu’s coastline.


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2 responses

24 03 2014
YARA Lamadrid

Bill 17 is a bad Bill. At the least Bill 17 needs input from qualified experts on the impact these walls will have on the near shore environment. It should not be determined by politicians w/ no expertise in this area and, doing this for a privileged few

1 04 2014
Trina

Mahalo for your comment and for expressing your concerns regarding Bill 17. You can find additional information in our latest post on Bill 17

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