KAPOLEI (HawaiiNewsNow) - People are camping in Kapolei, but they're not out there for fun. They're waiting in line for camping permits that will be issued on Wednesday for Thanksgiving weekend. The line started forming early Monday morning outside Kapolei Hale.
"If you're not here by the time they're giving it out, you're gonna miss it," said Nanakuli resident Merle Luafalemana.
Luafalemana is one of roughly 400 people who signed a petition started by Morris and Thurston Kamealoha. The brothers want the city to open up more campsites along the Waianae coast.
"Being able to sit around the campfire, roast marshmallows, and just share stories with each other, for us, that's what makes the bond as a family stronger," said Thurston Kamealoha of Waianae.
"There's definitely not enough camping sites to go around on the Waianae Coast. It's probably a problem elsewhere as well," said Rep. Maile Shimabukuro.
Camping is allowed at Lualualei Beach Park, Nanakuli Beach Park, Maili Beach Park, and Keaau Beach Park along Oahu's leeward coast. Permits are only issued during the summer for Lualualei, and there is a large homeless community at Keeau Beach Park. That leaves 24 campsites at the other two parks. The city is working on an online permit process to help eliminate long lines.
"The goal is to get it out before this coming summer, but it ties into other permits so it's not just simply consolidating all our permits, but it has some other permits that has to be put into it," said Les Chang, acting director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
"I think it alleviates the standing in line two, three days before, but if they could, as soon as it's done, look into our petition and consider it," said Morris Kamealoha of Waianae.
Chang said the city will revisit the issue once the online service is in place.
"Things that have to be considered are the comfort stations that are available, as well as other needs for users like day users, so we are looking at opening new sites," said Chang.