WAILUKU, Hawaii >> A resort condominium in Lahaina plans to replace an old seawall to protect the property from winter storms.
The Kahana Sunset aims to demolish an existing 114-foot seawall, The Maui News reported. The replacement seawall would protect the property’s six buildings from the winter surf. It would increase the beach area by more than 3,300 square feet.
The state Office of Environmental Quality Control issued a finding of no significant impact as it accepted the environmental assessment for the project late last month.
The Kahana Sunset Association of Apartment Owners must obtain a Special Management Area permit from the Maui Planning Commission to proceed. The Maui County Council must also approve a proposed change in zoning.
The resort condominiums are individually owned by part-time residents. They are used as vacation rentals except for one full-time resident.
When the 79-unit Kahana Sunset resort condominiums were first built in 1971, the building closest to the shore on the north side was about 15 feet from the shoreline, the environmental assessment said. Another building on the south side was about 50 feet from the shoreline, the document said.
Because of coastal erosion over the last four decades, the north building is now only 8 feet from the shoreline and the southern building only about 10 feet away.
Portions of the old seawall and nearby building foundation collapsed following a storm in December 2009, according to the Kahana Sunset assessment. In 2010, another portion of the seawall collapsed, posing a safety hazard.
The following year, severe cracks began developing along a number of areas along the seawall.
The renovation work would also include a new stairway, drainage improvements and beach access. The project is estimated to cost nearly $1 million.