Proposal aims to help residents near Maunawili Falls trail

A plan to help people who live near Maunawili Falls Trail is being brought up again.

Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson wants the city to take away the permit from Royal Hawaiian Golf Club unless the landowner maintains the trail and moves the entrance away from homes.

Residents have complained for years about hikers leaving their muddied clothes and shoes in people’s yards and blocking driveways.

Anderson says the owner of the golf course needs to step up to the plate and come up with the solution that has evaded the city and the state for years.

On any given day, residents near the head of the Maunawili trail see waves of hikers pass by. They say most are considerate and non-intrusive, but there are times “when I’m cleaning up their shoes and their socks from my yard,” said resident Jen Geis, “when they’re knocking on my door to ask if they can use my bathroom. It’s frustrating. I shouldn’t have to deal with such things.”

Frustration has grown among the residents over the years. Last year, the Kailua neighborhood board asked the city to shut down the trail completely.

Anderson has introduced a resolution calling on the Weinberg Foundation, which owns the land under the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club, to provide the solution.

“They have to be responsible for coming to the table to remedy this issue. That’s really what it is. They need to be part of the solution, because they’re able to operate their golf course,” he said.

He adds that the golf course is operating under a conditional use permit to provide some access to the trail, but it’s not spelled out clearly what the landowner is supposed to do.

So the resolution calls for Weinberg to move the trail entrance on their property and away from the homes, as well as maintain the trail.

“If they don’t want to or if they fail to, then that’s fine. Then we revoke the conditional use permit and their ability to operate the golf course, and we can all carry on,” Anderson said.

We called the attorney for the landowner and were told that someone from the company will call back.

We also called the city Department of Planning and Permitting. A spokesman said it will issue a ruling on whether it will apply those conditions to the permit.

Anderson says he plans to move his proposal forward one way or another.

Residents can only hope that a solution will come soon.

“One hopes that eventually they come into something — at least provide some parking and facilities and trash service. I mean those three things would solve a lot of the issues,” said Geis.

The Honolulu City Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution next month.

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