Baby Beach, a beloved spot in Spreckelsville, Maui, has been facing a host of challenges that have prompted ongoing discussions between Maui County and the landowner, Alexander & Baldwin Properties Hawaii LLC. The talks center around the potential purchase of approximately 30 acres, including the iconic Baby Beach, in a bid to tackle community concerns related to erosion, illegal activities, and environmental conservation.
Despite months of negotiations, the county’s Finance Department offered no new insights during a recent Government Relations, Ethics, and Transparency Committee meeting. Council Member Mike Molina, who chairs the committee, expressed disappointment at the lack of progress and urged the administration to prioritize the acquisition, emphasizing its significance for the Paia and North Shore communities.
While County Finance Director Scott Teruya acknowledged ongoing discussions with Alexander & Baldwin, he refrained from disclosing specific details regarding the acquisition’s progress, leaving residents and stakeholders eager for updates on the future of the beach property.
Baby Beach, known for its picturesque shoreline and recreational opportunities, has been grappling with issues related to erosion, illegal activities, and limited parking. The once-accessible parking lot has been closed off with barriers, a move prompted by concerns about the erosion caused by foot and vehicle traffic.
Reports of unauthorized camping, littering, and improper waste disposal have also contributed to the deteriorating conditions, prompting calls for improved management and conservation efforts. In response, Alexander & Baldwin obtained a special management area permit to initiate improvements at Wawau Point, allocating substantial resources toward shoreline restoration and enforcement measures.
Efforts to revitalize the area include the implementation of instructional signs emphasizing regulations pertaining to parking, camping, littering, and alcohol consumption. However, concerns regarding the limited parking options in the vicinity have been raised by residents, prompting calls for immediate action to alleviate the issue.
Local activist Kai Nishiki underscored the urgency of addressing the parking situation, advocating for the removal of obstacles that hinder public access to the beach area. Nishiki’s efforts to engage the county’s Public Works Department in addressing encroachments have demonstrated the community’s determination to preserve the beach’s accessibility and cultural significance.
In response to the ongoing impasse, Molina pledged to facilitate further discussions between the concerned departments and property owners, emphasizing the need for swift action to expedite the acquisition process. With plans to convene meetings and engage with the community, Molina aims to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to advance the negotiations and secure the future of Baby Beach for generations to come.
As discussions between Maui County and Alexander & Baldwin continue, the fate of Baby Beach remains uncertain, prompting heightened anticipation within the local community. The potential acquisition of the 30-acre property holds the promise of addressing longstanding concerns, paving the way for a more sustainable and accessible future for this cherished coastal gem.