Just how popular is the camping permit window at the Wahiawa Satellite City Hall?

So popular that the city is going to shutter it.

The Customer Services Department on Wednesday announced that starting in 2012, camping permits will only be available at Kapolei Hale and the Fasi Municipal Building downtown “due to access and public safety concerns.”

Permits are required for camping at 15 city campsite facilities, and popular spots can fill up fast. Information officer Louisa Tei told Civil Beat that the line outside was making it difficult to get in and out of the building.

“We’ve had issues with the amount of people who are out there having to line up, blocking access to the facility, whereas at Kapolei Hale and Fasi Municipal Building there’s room outside,” she said. “We just wanted to make sure that everybody’s safe.”

The area is already busy given that there’s a police station next door, Tei said.

The decision to stop offering permits in Wahiawa is an interesting response, considering the service was obviously popular enough to draw such crowds. But starting soon, would-be campers hailing from Central Oahu and the North Shore will need to drive to town or Kapolei to secure valuable camping permits. Lines outside of the Fasi Municipal Building, already long when holiday weekend spots become available, could become longer.

But hopefully not for very long.

The city’s press release notes that the intent is to “automate the camping permit process and will offer online camping permits later in the new year.”

Tei said the Customer Services Department has been putting pressure on the Parks and Recreation Department to do that and reduce the load on brick-and-mortar facilities.

“We’re hoping that we can just move the whole process online to make it easier for everybody,” Tei said.

“We are in the process of implementing an on line camping permit system,” Parks and Recreation Director Gary Cabato told Civil Beat in an email. “We continue to work with the Department of Information Technology and anticipate going live with the system in early 2012.”

A message left for Information Technology Director Gordon Bruce was not immediately returned.

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