County to Enforce Law Barring Vendors from Roadways, Shoulders in Kalapana

The County of Hawai’i plans to enforce an ordinance that bars vendors from operating on County roadways and shoulders amid safety concerns, focusing on vendors currently operating on roadways in the Kalapana area.

An informal community meeting will be held to address questions and concerns at the Pāhoa Community Center on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The County hand-delivered and mailed a letter on April 11 to the affected vendors, some of whom were renting bicycles or selling food or other items to visitors to the Kalapana volcano viewing area.

The County will strictly enforce the provisions of Hawai’i County Code § 22-2.5, beginning July 1, 2018, which prohibits commercial activity within any County right-of-way.  Failure to comply with this deadline may result in monetary fines as provided in HCC § 24-16, the letter said.

“Enforcement is necessary to alleviate bicycle accidents and disruption to residents in the area,” the letter said. “By (July 1, 2018), all vendors currently operating on the roadway or shoulders must vacate all portions of the roadway.”

The County plans to move the parking area for vehicles to the second gate of Highway 130 to reduce the walking or biking distance to the park boundary.

“The County will provide guidance to vendors who wish to continue to operate on suitable locations off the roadway,” the letter said.

The vendors were encouraged to attend the April 25 meeting, aimed at addressing outstanding concerns or questions.

The letter said that the County was dedicated to the safety and well-being of its residents.