This is a chronological list of events and news about Mud Lane, newest at the
February 25, 2008
February 12, 2008
- Public meeting on Mud Lane held in Honokaa.
Present: Dominic Yagong, County heads of public works and planning, David
Katz of 660 LLC, and around 20 concerned citizens.
It is announced that the County has accepted a plan by 660 LLC to proceed
with a modified development: The size of the access road is reduced from 18
feet to 12 feet, to be located on the West side of the right-of-way and will
require a 6 foot trail on the East side of the right-of-way.
See summaries of the
- The archaeological issue is resolved to the satisfaction of SHPD and the
County; the work order is lifted.
December 8-14, 2007
December 10, 2007
- SHPD writes a letter stating that the Pacific Legacy survey was received
November 13, 2007
- The South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee (SKTSC) discusses Mud Lane (minutes,
November 9, 2007
- In a letter to Yagong (tif),
the Mayor says he has asked McClure (DPW) to continue the stop-work order
until further notice, the purpose being to allow meetings to occur to
discuss the situation.
- The Pacific Legacy study is uploaded to the County of Hawaii website,
Update: Mud Lane
Title: ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVENTORY SURVEY OF THE MUD LANE CORRIDOR, AHUPUA`A OF
WAIKO`EKO`E, DISTRICT OF HAMAKUA, ISLAND OF HAWAI`I.
Abstract concludes: "By the early 1900s, a carriage road ran roughly through
the center of the ahupua`a connecting the Pacific Sugar Mill at Kukuihaele
to the ranching town of Waimea. The paved road bed uncovered during the
present project appears to have been laid down some time in the 1920s, 30s
or 40s to provide traction for motor vehicles traveling along this often
muddy track. The stone road bed was the only archaeological feature noted
during the survey."
October 24, 2007
- In a letter to Bruce McClure, Director of County DPW (pdf),
Judy Hiller draws attention to the fact that development of the trail would
lead to a direct road from Waimea to Kapulena, and says an Environmental
Assessment is required by statute.
October 19, 2007
- In a letter from Councilman Dominic Yagong to Mayor Harry Kim (pdf
doc), Yagong is on record in
support of preserving the trail for non-vehicular uses, and urges extending
the stop-work to allow the community to come up with a long-term plan to
preserve the trail.
October 16, 2007
- The County Planning Dept. (Chris Yuen, Director) writes a response
letter (pdf) to concerned
citizens, which states the department's position, that 660 LLC be permitted
to "improve" the section of trail leading to their property. It is
specifically dismissive of the alternate options (from Kapulena, and the
other paper road) saying they "would take considerable more expense."
[Editor's note: This claim appears to ignore that access from Kapulena
is a fact on the ground, with a 4wd road in active use along the entire
western edge of the 660 parcel.]
October 1, 2007
October, 2007: This website (mudlane.org) is created. Another group of
people create a separate site for advocacy,
www.savemudlane.com which remains
online for around a year.
September 24, 2007
- Letter from
Gillian Culff to Councilman Hoffman
September 20, 2007
- A letter (.doc) from
Melanie Chinen, State Historic Preservation Division, to County of Hawaii
Department of Public Works. It says "...the SHPD believes an archaeological
inventory survey should be completed for Mud Lane ... Please ensure that a
full Archaeological Inventory Survey with subsurface testing is completed
and submitted to our office for review."
September 19, 2007
- A public meeting was held at Anna Ranch where dozens of people gathered
to speak about Mud Lane. Several of the testimonies have been added to the
Letters / Community Input page. Summaries of the comments of Jamie
Dowsett, Abel Ferriera, Jodi Sylva and Dr. Billy Bergin will be added later.
September 17, 2007
- Letter from
Cyndee Irvine attesting years of experience with the trail, the need to
protect endemic plants and control invasives in the area
September 15, 2007
- Letter from Harry Kim, Mayor, which states
that the recent paving was done with 'overwhelming' community support, there
will be no further paving, and that a stop work order for further work on
the gravel road has been issued for now.
September 13, 2007
- Letter from Josephine Keliipio published in
West Hawaii Today.
August 30, 2007
August 29, 2007
- Letter (pdf)
from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) to Laura Thielen, Chair of DLNR,
says OHA has received concerns regarding lack of adequate historic
preservation in the Mud Lane area, and requests immediate intervention by
DLNR in conjunction with the County.
- Bulldozing begins on the trail section.
June 14, 2007
- DPW sends Revised Construction Plan and Grading Permit Application for
the proposed 660 subdivision. (pdf
of cover letters)
- Tentative subdivision approval of the 660 parcel was granted.
- Sometime between 2005 and early 2007, the 660 parcel's asking price was
raised to $6.9 million. Reference:
snapshot of the listing on
MacArthur/Sotheby's website as of late 2007.
[Editor's note - This represents a 4.3x increase over the price paid in
2005 - a $5.3 million profit - without any development of the parcel.]
- According to Betsy Palumbo, sometime in 2005 she:
"..saw the first listing that Macarthur had posted on their website, which
was for the upper 240 acres of the 660. If I recall correctly, it was
shortly thereafter that they expanded their offering to include the full
Price was initially $4.9 million as seen in a 2005 snapshot
of the property listing (pdf).
- In conjunction with the variance process, comments from surrounding
property owners were received. One of these comments, from Lynn Nakkim,
related to the purported trail within the Mud Lane right of way. In two
1. Sidney M Fuke, Planning Consultant, supports the variance application.
Notably, he writes:
"The applicant, too, does not want to have a connection of the mauka and
makai sectors of the Mud Lane Road. As such is it proposing to make modest
improvements between the end of the improved section only up to its
property. No improvements over the entire length of the property are being
planned, thus minimizing the potential for this road to connect."
[Editor's note - There is an existing 4wd vehicular road extending from
the southwest parcel corner towards Kapulena, so there is no apparent way
they could prevent a through connection.]
2. The archaeologist was asked again, and reiterated his conclusion - i.e.,
no evidence of historic properties and/or historic trail.
- Because a variance (relief) from the standard water requirements was
needed, a variance application was filed, and the Planning Dept. granted
approval on December 28, 2005
- Waimea 660, LLC applies for consolidation/resubdivision
- Waimea 660, LLC completes the purchase of two properties identified by
TMK: 4-8-3: 5 (Lot 1-A and 1-B) and consisting of approximately 660
acres from the County of Hawaii. Price paid is $1.6
Recordation date is 03/16/2005.
[Editor's note: this is an incredibly low price for 660 acres
of land anywhere in Hawai'i.]
To see the details of the sale, go to
http://www.hawaiipropertytax.com/ and use Parcel ID: 48003005
September 2, 2004
- Paul Cleghorn, Senior Archaeologist with Pacific Legacy, delivers a
summarizing an archaeological field survey of the Mud Lane trail section:
"No surface historic properties were encountered during the course of the
survey. Prior to the survey, a neighboring property owner asserted that
there exists visual evidence of a 60 year old hand-laid Hawaiian trail
within the quater mile stretch of the former roadbed. No evidence of such a
trail was found during the survey."
July 8, 2004
- Letter (pdf) from Chris
Yuen, Planning Department, to Greg Doran of Pacific Coast Properties. Yuen
says that whoever buys the 660 parcel, if they applied to subdivide into no
more than 6 parcels, would stand a good chance of approval, based largely on
water issues. He says the DPW:
"would be comfortable with a regraveling of the poorer areas of the existing
Mud Lane, and a gravel road approximately 18' wide to the property boundary
on the portion that current exists only as a trail on the ground."
- When the sugar plantation went out of business, the trail section of Mud
Lane was abandoned, although it had been neglected for many years
- Recreational use of the trail begins at least this early by residents of
Waimea: equestrian, hiking, etc.
- A Hawaii Territory Survey map (full pdf)
shows Mud Lane as a road labeled 'Road to Kukuihaele'
- From the 1920s onward, the Mud Lane Road was maintained by the Hāmākua
- From Archaeological Investigations of the
Mudland-Waimea-Kawaihae Road Corridor, Island of Hawai'i: An
Interdisciplinary Study of an Environmental Transect, Clark and Kirch
(Feb. 1983) (excerpt
"In their report of their three-week stay (Committee Report 1930), the
Committee [..] included a map showing the settlements of Keaalii, Waikoloa,
and Pu'ukapu, two of the main trails from Kawaihae and Puakö, and the main
trail to Waipi'o, the original "Mud Lane" (see Fig. 2.1)"