County of Kauai considering acquiring land

Sean Ahearn

Access closed signs at Hideaways Beach trail have been in place since April 2021, and now an easement to get down to the water is currently being reviewed for possible county acquisition and maintenance.

An easement, supposedly inaccurate, was drafted and signed in May 1975 and granted by the Princeville Cooperation to the county meant to encompass the beach trail to Hideaways. Which begins at Pu‘u Poa Condominiums located off Ka Haku Road. However, this created an easement to another beach and crosses over private property. There have been issues on who is ultimately responsible for maintaining this trail over years, which explains why the trail went into disrepair despite community efforts to maintain it. Throughout the years, injuries have been obtained on the trial as well as a lawsuit that was filed and settled. To avoid more liabilities, Puu Poa with the okay from the County, placed signs at the top of the trail and closed the access in April 2021. 

A new easement deed for the county was recently redrafted with a corrected trail route.  Requesting that the commission consider financing it as well as repairing the currently closed trail.  The improvements include a concrete stairway with railing and will cost around $55-$70K. 
If the county does not remedy the easement, the trail will be officially closed down completely. Which would mean the public will completely lose access to a very secluded beach that has no other access.

Currently, the open space commissioners have deferred discussion on the topic and are requesting more information regarding the repairs until its next meeting, while members have some more time to weigh the cost and maintenance of this project. The next commission meeting will be on Thursday, Dec. 9th at 1 pm. 

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