Testimony against General Plan

SUBHEAD: Kauai Planing Department's last public meeting on General Plan Update faced stiff winds.

By Juan Wilson on 14 June 2017 for Island Breath -

Image above: Some members of the public that came to witness and give testimony to Kauai Planning Commission waiting for meeting to begin. Photo by Juan Wilson.

The current Kauai General Plan was completed in 1999 was to guide development between 2000 and 2020. It is still in force and better represented the will of the people of Kauai better than the current effort to date.

Public meetings on the update of the General Plan have been going on for over a year. 

Yesterday was the last opportunity for the public to present testimony to the Kauai Planning Board on the General Plan Update to guide changes and development on the island from 2020-2040.

The Planning Commission Meeting
This was a long full day meeting. Several items were on the agenda before the Kauai General Plan Update was discussed and testimony was taken.

When the subject finally came up none of the members of the public that testified spoke in favor of the General Plan Update as presented.

Notable testimony was given by:

Joann Yukimura, Kauai Council Member,  focused on the westside and specifically the problems with the massive increase in development in the Hanapepe-Eleele area that could triple the population of this still rural area. The Plan's stated goals are in conflict with the actual community plans aggressive growth. Note: To read a PDF of Joann's full printed testimony click here (http://www.islandbreath.org/2017Year/06/170614testimony.pdf). File is 4.8 megabytes.

Ken Taylor, citizen activist, noted that the 1971 long term plan for infrastructure improvements to meet expected population growth was never implemented but now, almost 50 years later we have the population expected but not the infrastucture.

Judy Dalton, Chair of Kauai Sierra Club Group, identified the uncontrolled expansion of tourism with the accompanied increase of traffic, accommodation requirements, overburdening recreational resources as an increasing problem.

Rupert Rowe, President of the Hui Malama O Kaneiolouma Heiau, spoke of the need for solving our waste management before accepting a General Plan designed for a doubling of our population. Our current landfill is far past its approved size and no other site has been acceptable.

My verbal testimony, with some variation this the written version was as follows:
My name is Juan Wilson. I live in Hanapepe Valley and have practiced architecture and planning for over 40 years.

I have been attending the Hanapepe-Eleele Community Association meetings for more than a year. I have provided planning and mapping services in their effort to improve the 2020 Kauai General Plan Update. I fully support our association’s recommended changes to the plan and urge you to incorporate that effort.

My experience informs me that the 2000 Kauai General Plan, had it been followed, would have resulted in a better situation than the one we find ourselves in today. Due to community demand, the motto of that plan was “Keep it Rural”.

Since then residents have lost access to much of the rural recreational opportunities that once were abundant. There are many closed gates.

The General Plan Update especially increases urbanization in the Kapaa and Hanapepe communities. The already unacceptable traffic snarl in Kapaa-Wailua will only become worse.

Population of the Hanapepe-Eleele area will likely triple with the build-out of this plan. Today there are only three stop lights west of the Laui Valley, but many more new westside traffic lights can be expected. We will get three new stoplights in Eleele alone with current county sponsored Lima Ola project.

As explained to me by Deputy Planning Director Hull at the Waimea Open House in December 2016, the only rationale the Planning Department has used to justify this planned response  to a “population explosion” is estimate that “natural” population will increase 1% to 2% compounded over the next few decades.

My response is that it would be much cheaper and more desirable to reduce the rate growth rather than build out suburban solution to accommodate it. The means could be through education, encouragement, incentives and rewards.

Are we not clever enough to bend the arc of growth lower than one or two percent? Benefits are that smaller families are statistically are better educated, do better financially and thus can spend more time, energy and money on each child.

Is the Planning Department certain we have so little self control that we must destroy the Kauai’s charm, culture, and landscape to accommodate unborn hoards of suburbanites? 

Image above: Members of the Kauai Planning Commission. From left to right - Glenda Nogami-Streufert, Sean Mahoney, unidentified staff, Vice Chair Roy Ho, Deputy Planning Director Ka'aina Hull, Commissioner Heather Ahuna, Commissioner Wade Lord and Commissioner Donna Apisa. Photo by Juan Wilson.

To keep things clear Kauai has a Planning Department and Planning Commission.

The Kauai Planning Department
The department's webpage states (http://www.kauai.gov/Planning):
The Planning Department advises the Mayor, Planning Commission, and the County Council on planning and land use matters for the County of Kauai. The Department is also responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances, as well as the County's planning program, which includes long-range and regulatory policy documents like the General Plan and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinances.
The Planning Director is Michael Dahilig. Dalilig formerly worked for Hawaii State Senator Shimabukuro and, from what I can tell, has no expertise or professional training in planning.

The Deputy Planning Director is Ka'aina Hull is a Planner and appears to be running the department's actual planning.The Planning Department Director appears to be simply a political appointment.Commissioners an

The Kauai Planning Commission
The commission's webpage says (http://www.kauai.gov/Government/Boards-and-Commissions/Planning-Commission):
The Planning Commission meets twice a month to hold public hearings on zoning and land use permits and applications, as well as render decisions on these matters. 
It is made up of seven members of the public appointed by the mayor and approved by the Council. It's responsibility is to ensure the community is served by the actions of the Planning Department. Here again, the Planning Commission members are political appointments with no necessary expertise in planning.

The current commission members are:
Chair Kimo Keawe
Vice Chair Roy Ho
Commissioner Heather Ahuna
Commissioner Donna Apisa
Commissioner Wade Lord
Commissioner Sean Mahoney
Commissioner Glenda Nogami-Streufert,
The Chair, Kimo Keawe was not present at this meeting. This Planning Board meeting is largely managed by the Deputy Planning Director and his staff. 

So much for Kauai's future.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Okay given to destroy Paradise 6/12/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai Nui Kuapapa 5/14/1
Ea O Ka Aina: Find and Limit Ourselves 2/17/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai General Plan open house 12/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Reject the Kauai General Plan update 11/30/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai County "Keep Kauai Rural!" 11/11/16
Ea O Ka Aina: General Plan Update  9/4/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Will developers write Kapaa's future? 5/7/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Planet Kaauai 2/26/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai Plan disappoints 12/9/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Potash King's Palace 6/24/10
Island Breath: Kauai Districts as Townships 3/27/08
Island Breath: Sustainability & Growth 4/19/05
Island Breath: Kauai Parks Master Plan - Puolo Point 10/7/04
Island Breath: Kauai Zoning 5/15/04

No comments :

Post a Comment