- Associated Press - Saturday, October 1, 2016

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Maui County is pursuing plans for about 270 acres near a surf break.

Councilmembers approved the nearly $9.5 million deal in early September using the Open Space, Natural Resources and Scenic Views Preservation Fund.

The land includes four lots and an access easement to the so-called Jaws surf break.

Councilmembers Don Guzman and Elle Cochran were asked to create plans for what officials call the Hamakualoa Open Space Park Preserve.

“I said you know what, the community wants this. We need to utilize our Open Space Fund and capture it and buy this land and preserve it for generations to come,” Guzman told Hawaii News Now.

An Organic Agricultural Park at the preserve would be the first for the community.

“There are questions that remain about public access for sporting events at Jaws, water issues, land maintenance as well as other concerns,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa, according to Maui News. “However, the council felt strongly enough about this purchase that they approved $9.5 million to be included in the budget, coupled with the fact that many members of our community say they want to start farming organically.”

Water access and land maintenance are among the other concerns for the site.

The site used to be a pineapple planation and was owned by Alexander & Baldwin.

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