Hanamaulu community wants their park back. Kauai County officials say they voiced their concerns which prompted officials to close Hanamaulu Beach Park from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting August 19.
It’ll be the first time a county park on Kauai will be closed to the public overnight.
“I haven’t been down there for a year we’re so afraid to go down there,” Hanamaulu resident Val Takiguchi said.
Val Takiguchi got married at Hanamaulu beach park.
Many say it used to be a place where many would celebrate weddings and baby luaus.
Now, increased homeless and criminal activity has prompted many to avoid going to the park.
“Over the years it just deteriorated actually probably within the last ten years the drug activity down there has really gotten bad,” Kauai County council member Mel Rapozo said.
Last June, a community clean-up was held at the park.
Officials say, the next day, the facilities were vandalized.
Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho says that was one of the reasons he and the department of parks and recreation director decided on the overnight closure.
“Prior to the closing we did extra sweeps of the park and found illegal activity happening,” Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho said.
Arrests were made and Kauai officials say the pavillion at the park has become a magnet for criminal activity.
Residents say, homeless have taken it over, making it difficult for those who rent it to hold functions.
“We’ve tried numerous times to address the homeless. Several times prior to this to try to help those who would need the additional support,” Mayor Carvalho said.
Mayor Carvalho says the pavillion at the park will be demolished in September.
“Maybe it will just start to discourage people to you know set up camp but you know I don’t know what they can do. I really wish we can go down there again,” Takiguchi said.
Due to the overnight closure, no camping will be allowed come August 19.
The mayor plans to hold a meeting August 15 at King Kaumuali’i Elementary School a few days before to ensure everyone knows about the park closure.