National News

Neighborhood board supports resolution to keep Haiku Stairs

Posted June 20

— The Kaneohe neighborhood board voted in support of a resolution that would reopen the popular Haiku Stairs, under a controlled and managed access plan, on Thursday.

"All the board is asking and that's what this resolution is asking... is that the option that's preferred in the EIS is a managed access plan not demolition," chair of the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board, Mo Radke said.

But even with the boards support, it doesn't mean the stairs will for sure re-open.

In April, the Board of Water Supply asked for public input to draft an environmental impact statement that would help decide what to do with the stairs.

The BWS said the Draft EIS would ultimately explore one proposed action and three alternatives for "Stairway to Heaven", including, removing the stairs entirely (proposed action), providing legal access to and from the stairs and improving for public use, transferring it to another government agency, or taking no action.

More than 700 comments were received from the community expressing what they'd like ultimately to see done to the stairs.

"If we use managed access.. the plan that we have in place.. we can solve everyone's problem.. I feel the pain of the residents that live in that area," Dr. Vernon Ansdell, president of Friends of Haiku Stairs said at Thursday's board meeting.

Still some residents at the board meeting expressed their frustration-- over hikers continuing to trespass on their private property.

One woman who did not want to show her face on camera-- tells the board she wants the stairs gone after recently witnessing a hiker assault her neighbor.

"We'll do whatever it takes to shut this thing down if you don't hear our concerns and vote in favor of this," a resident said.

The neighborhood board says the resolution will be forwarded to the Board of Water Supply, Mayor, and elected officials.

The board added that no official decision on the future of the stairs will made anytime soon.

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