Category Archives: Community Plans

Maui Tomorrow Testimony on Lana’i Community Plan

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To: Chair Don Couch and Committee Members, Planning Committee

Maui County Council

pc.committee@mauicounty.us

From: Albert Perez, Executive Director

Maui Tomorrow Foundation, Inc.

Re: PC-11, Lana`i Community Plan Update June 22, 2015

Maui Tomorrow is opposed to the following proposed new language in the Lana`i Community Plan:

Community plan land use designations are not regulatory unless required by law.”

This new language is proposed to be inserted on Page A-26 of Appendix 9.3. We have also found similar language in the draft of the Moloka`i Community Plan. We are concerned that the proposed language is unnecessary and will create confusion when applied by planners and citizens in evaluating future development proposals, since the community plan land use designations are indeed regulatory, and therefore “required by law”. Hawaii Revised Statutes §46-4, as well as Maui County Code Sections 2.80B and 19.04 all require zoning to conform to the general plan, and therefore, to the community plans.

An incredible amount of time, energy, and thought has been put in on developing the community plans throughout Maui County. Hundreds of ordinary citizens, county staff, Planning Commissioners, and Council members spent years developing these plans – all of which would be rendered meaningless if language such as that proposed were to be adopted. Not only would this run completely counter to good planning practice, and be contrary to state and county law, but it would send a terrible message to the people who participated for many years, pouring their hearts and aspirations into developing the Community Plan, crafting a better future for their community.

The language (in italics above) which is now being proposed was: a) not included in the Planning Director’s initial draft Lana`i Community Plan; b) not reviewed or recommended by the Lana`i Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC); and c) not reviewed or recommended by the Lana`i Planning Commission.

When next we need citizen volunteers, who will want to answer the call? This language would run counter to the stated intent of 2.80B, “to increase public and community participation in the planning process.”

Maui Tomorrow respectfully requests that these proposed changes be removed, along with any changes that have similar intent, in the Lana`i Community Plan, and in all other community plans. We also request that work begin in earnest to revise zoning designations and zoning standards to conform with the wishes of the Lana`i community, as expressed in the objectives, policies and land use designations of their versions of the Lana`i Community Plan.

Mahalo nui loa.

Save Our Community Plans

ALERT!!!

Our Community Plans Are STILL Under Attack. The changes are starting on Lana`i, but may affect us all, if they spread to every community plan.

New language has been inserted in the Lana`i Community Plan that was NEVER discussed in over a year of public deliberations. This language would gut the Community Plan’s land use designations, saying they will not be “regulatory”, and may not have the force of law.  It could set a precedent that would then be included in all our Community Plans.

Most folks would not look for a game-changer in an Appendix, but that’s where this new language was placed.

Don Couch’s Planning Committee is scheduled to meet on Lana`i this Tuesday, June 23rd, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm, to hear public input on the plan.

Please send comments as soon as possible (preferably by June 22nd).

Email comments to: pc.committee@mauicounty.us

Address them to:

Planning Committee Chair Don Couch

Re: PC-11, Lana`i Community Plan Update

Ask the Council Planning Committee to pass the Lanai Community Plan Advisory Committee version of the Plan, which clearly and repeatedly states that land use zoning must comply with the Lana`i Community Plan. Ask them to respect the hard work of the Lana`i community. Specifically, ask that the following words in Appendix 9.3 be deleted:

Community plan land use designations are not regulatory unless required by law. Page A-26 Appendix 9.3”

Listen to the People!

Why: Language weakening the power of the Lana`i Community Plan was buried in an Appendix on page A-26 of the proposed revisions by the County Council Planning Committee AFTER the Lana`i community, its citizen’s advisory committee, and its Lana`i Planning Commission approved a draft that did NOT contain this language.

The fact is that state and county law both clearly state that zoning must comply with the community plan. The proposed new language is unnecessary, creates confusion, and is disrespectful of the hard work of the Lana’i Community Plan Advisory Committee and the Lana`i Planning Commission.

The Lana`i plan is the first in a series of community plan updates.  The Moloka`i Community Plan is also under way, and that draft now has similar language. The Council Planning Committee appears to want to get this language embedded in all our community plans, rendering them toothless.

Let the Council Planning Committee know we stand behind the Lana’i Community and all the work they have done, and insist that the offending language be DELETED.

The Community Plans are Your Voice and should have the force of Law.

P. S. Mahalo to all who sent comments on PC- 21 (the amendment to the Maui County Code also weakening our Community Plans) Your voices are being heard.  This unneeded amendment to our County Code has been temporarily deferred. Committee Chair Don Couch says he is willing to look at new language. We will continue to work to leave the County Code as it is. 

More alerts will be sent as we see the new language.  IMUA!

Dick Mayer’s Testimony on PC-021

UPDATE: On June 18, 2015 this bill was deferred.

TO: Chair, Donald Couch and members, Maui County Council Planning Committee

FROM: Dick Mayer

RE: PC-21 – Statement of Opposition June 18, 2015

A.1 Today’s Agenda has a “proposed bill” that may violate the land-use ordinance process

A.2 COUNTY CHARTER Section 8-8.6 #2 Very specific on land-use ordinance process.

Section 8-8.6. Adoption of General Plan and Other Land Use Ordinances.

2. Any revisions of the general plan, zoning ordinance or other land use ordinance may be proposed by the council and shall be reviewed by the appropriate planning commission as if prepared by the planning director. Any such revision shall be referred to the appropriate planning commission by resolution. If the planning commission disapproves the proposed revision or recommends a modification thereof, not accepted by the council, or fails to make its report within a period of the hundred twenty (120) days after receipt of the referral, the council may nevertheless pass such revision, but only by the affirmative vote of at least two thirds of the council’s entire membership.

A.3 Although required by the Maui County Charter, there has been no mention

of a “resolution” on today’s agenda.

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PC-21 – Statement of Opposition Dick Mayer June 18, 2015 Page 2

B. Existing Maui County Code Section 2.80B.030(B)

Although described as an amendment, in fact this ordinance is attempting to repeal existing law. Maui County Code Section 2.80B.030(B) requires all agencies to conform to the General Plan. It states:

All agencies shall comply with the general plan. Notwithstanding any other provision, all community plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision ordinances, and administrative actions by agencies shall conform to the general plan.”

This proposed ordinance attempts to reverse the existing order of things.

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C. Comprehensive Zoning Code

All of the zoning statements must follow the initial “Purpose and Intent” of Maui’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, MCC 19.04:

  • Chapter 19.04 – GENERAL PROVISIONS AND DEFINITIONS

Sections:    19.04.010 – Title.

A.   This article shall be known as “the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.”

  • 19.04.015 – Purpose and intent.

A.   The purpose and intent of this comprehensive zoning article is to regulate the utilization of land in a manner encouraging orderly development in accordance with the land use directives of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, the revised charter of the County, and the general plan and the community plans of the County.

B.   The purpose and intent of this comprehensive zoning article is also to promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of the County by:

1.   Guiding, controlling and regulating future growth and development in accordance with the general plan and community plans of the County;

C.    The purpose and intent of this comprehensive zoning article is also to provide reasonable development standards which implement the community plans of the County.

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D. Maui County Code Zoning Chapter 19.24 – M-1 LIGHT INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT

19.24.010 – Purpose and intent.

The M-1 light industrial district is designed to contain mostly warehousing and distribution types of activity, and permits most compounding, assembly, or treatment of articles or materials with the exception of heavy manufacturing and processing of raw materials. Residential uses are excluded except for dwelling units located above or below the first floor and apartments.

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E. Merits and language of the proposed PC-21 ordinance.

SECTION 3. Section 2.80B.70, Item 14b

b. All land uses permitted within a zoning district in title 19 of this code shall be permitted

under the corresponding land use designation in the land use map.”

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PC-21 – Statement of Opposition Dick Mayer June 18, 2015 Page 3

F. Land-Use and subsequent zoning is determined not just by a community plan’s “land-use” designations. It is also defined by clarifying text in the community plan. 2 examples:

Kihei-Makena Community Plan PDF page 18 http://www.co.maui.hi.us/documents/17/69/240/kihei.pdf

k. Provide for limited expansion of light industrial services in the area south of Ohukai and mauka of Pi`ilani Highway, as well as limited marine-based industrial services in areas next to Ma`alaea Harbor. Provide for moderate expansion of light industrial use in the Central Maui Baseyard, along Mokulele Highway. These areas should limit retail business or commercial activities to the extent that they are accessory or provide service to the predominate light industrial use. These actions will place industrial use near existing and proposed transportation arteries for the efficient movement of goods.

Kihei-Makena Community Plan PDF page 42

a. All zoning applications and/or proposed land uses and developments shall be consistent with the Land Use Map and Objectives and Policies of the Kihei-Makena Community Plan.

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G. Specific Land-Use is clearly described in a community plan’s glossary / definitions.

Kihei-Makena Community Plan PDF page 53-54

A. Land Use Categories and Definitions

Light Industrial (LI)

This is for warehousing, light assembly, service and craft-type industrial operations.

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H. With regard to existing non-conformance land-uses, there is an “Escape Clause”

for the County:

Existing “Non-Conforming” uses could be handled by an ordinance waiving compliance,

while prohibiting any future non-compliance.

Alert ! ! ! Oppose Attempt to Circumvent Maui Island Plan

June 18, 2015
9:00 amto10:00 am
ALERT ! ! !
Please Testify: Save our community plansThis Thursday June 18th at 9am the Maui County Council Planning Committee will hear PC-021 entitled “A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 2.80B, MAUI COUNTY CODE, RELATING TO GENERAL PLAN AND COMMUNITY PLAN.”

This bill will remove the force of law from the community plans, making the plans irrelevant and your voice irrelevant. If this passes, all of the time that people have put in over the years on developing these community plans will have been WASTED.
Email pc.committee@mauicounty.us and
OPPOSE PC-021.
If you can show up Thursday morning and testify against it, that would be great too.

Put the Implementation Back in Maui Island Plan

A letter to the County Council from a voter (not Maui Tomorrow) follows:

Recommended changes to the Council’s proposed Bill 29

A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING THE MAUI ISLAND PLAN IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAM”

Each community plan district shall have its own permanent Community District Planning Advisory Committee. PLEASE INSERT:

The Council shall establish permanent Community Plan District Advisory Committees, their rules, roles and responsibilities, and the mechanism to select the members.”

PLEASE RESTORE GPAC RECOMMENDATION:

All studies and documents completed more than five years prior to an application for a land use change shall be considered “out of date,” unless the decision-making body affirms by a positive vote that the document is still timely and relevant.”

PLEASE RESTORE GPAC RECOMMENDATION:

EA and EIS documents shall be prepared by a consultant selected by and under the direction of the Planning Department; the consultant shall be paid by the developer making a proposal.”

PLEASE RESTORE GPAC RECOMMENDATION:

On page 10-4 in the next to the last paragraph, change the word “may” back to “shall”.

To ensure that no ambiguities exist regarding infrastructure funding responsibilities, the County mayshall establish an infrastructure funding strategy to ensure that infrastructure improvements are implemented prior to or concurrent with development by the responsible party depending on the nature of the infrastructure project.”

PLEASE RESTORE GPAC RECOMMENDATION:

It is important to restore the two GPAC tables (Tables 9-1 and 9-2) in the implementation program, just as they were worded in the GPAC recommendation.

PLEASE INSERT:

All future Community Plan and Zoning Entitlements shall have a fixed time limit, to discourage ‘land-banking’, to provide for more stable employment opportunities, and to ensure smooth planning. The entitlement may be considered void, unless an appeal for an extension of 2 years has been approved by the County Council.”

Mahalo for voting on, and hopefully approving, each of these recommended modifications to this important legislation.

County post Maui Island Plan

The Maui General Plan has 3 Components:

Maui Island Plan Overview (From the County’s Website)

 

The Maui Island Plan provides direction for future growth, the economy, and social and environmental decisions on the island through 2030. The Maui Island Plan establishes a vision, founded on core values that break down into goals, objectives, policies, and actions. In addition, the Plan incorporates lessons from the past. The Maui Island Plan is the second component of the decennial General Plan update.

Specific Outcomes
The MIP looks comprehensively at many factors that influence the physical, social, and economic development of the island.  The MIP establishes a Directed Growth Strategy, which identifies areas appropriate for future urbanization and revitalization.  The MIP also identifies and addresses key environmental, housing, and economic development issues relevant to Maui’s current and future generations.

The MIP will be used by the County Council, the Maui Planning Commission, County staff, and the community as a policy foundation for day-to-day decision making in the following ways:

  • Developing, implementing, and applying policies and regulations (e.g., zoning and other ordinances, including the Community Plans, that describe the kind of development that is allowed); and
  • Determining the appropriateness of discretionary development proposals.

This Plan looks forward several generations, its recommendations will transform the way we manage our lands and plan for our communities.  Key highlights of the Plan include:

  • Adoption of a Directed Growth Plan.  Growth areas are established where future growth is desired.  This will make development more predictable for everyone, including County service and infrastructure providers.  This will help reduce development costs, provide more affordable housing, and lower taxes to the public.
  • Protection of Maui’s Small Towns and Rural Character.  Outside of growth areas development will be limited to preserve our agricultural lands and open space.  This will “keep the country – country”, a refrain repeated by many citizens.
  • Affordable Housing.  Maui will have safe, decent, appropriate, and affordable housing for all residents developed in a way that contributes to strong neighborhoods and a thriving island community.
  • Protection of Watersheds and Coastal Resources.  Watershed and coastal zone management will be integrated to protect those areas of the island that contain critical marine resources, including coral reefs.
  • Economic diversification.  We will promote emerging industries such as high technology, renewable energy, niche tourism, local agriculture, health care, entertainment, and education.  The important visitor industry will still grow, but at a comparatively smaller rate so that our economy will be more diversified.
  • Integration of Land Use and Infrastructure Planning.  We will implement a framework to ensure that our infrastructure and land use planning functions are integrated, so that infrastructure can be provided more effectively and efficiently.

 

        Maui Island’s six Community Plan Districts.

 

Old Maui Island Plan Maps

Council’s General Plan Committee  1:30pm  Thursday, March 1 and 15 

Comparison of three proposed maps:

1.   2009 GPAC   

2.   2010 Planning Director 

3.  2012 Planning Director

 

      C – 2    CENTRAL  MAUI  MAP

B         Waihee village —  GPAC and 2010 Director recommended “Country Town”.   2012 Director recommends a RGB.   GPAC recommended an increase in the ‘country town’ area.

C         Wailuku Country Estates  —  2012 Director recommends Rural Growth Boundary. Is Rural Growth Boundary appropriate for an agricultural sub-division?

D         Greenbelt clearly defining Wailuku + Kahului —  giving each town its own identity.

(click to enlarge)

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South Central Maui Comparison of three proposed maps:

1.   2009 GPAC   

2.   2010 Planning Director 

3.   2012 Planning Director

       C – 3    SOUTH  CENTRAL  MAUI  MAP

D         Greenbelt clearly defining Wailuku + Kahului —  giving each town its own identity.

E         Greenbelt between Maui Lani and proposed Waiale, with no UGB around the entire Central Maui urbanized area.

F          GPAC intended that there be a significant greenbelt between Wailuku and Waikapu.  2010 and 2012 Director placed 200 units in that area, reducing the separation.

G         Waikapu  — GPAC and 2010 Director indicated a UGB. 2012 Director recommends a RGB.

 

H        Waikapu Mauka – 2010 and 2012 Directors added these rural area to the GPAC’s Waikapu Urban Growth Boundary.

I           Waikapu Makai – GPAC limited size of  UGB.  2010 and 2012 Directors recommended a larger UGB.

J          Waikapu Makai East — 2012 Director added even more to UGB.

Comparison of South Maui Maps

 

K         Puunene Baseyard – 2010 and 2012 Directors recommend a larger UGB than the GPAC.

Maui Island Plan not what residents want

After seven long years, our Maui County Council anticipates completing its most important legislation in over a decade. The council hopes to adopt the Maui Island Plan today.

During the last few months, the council has transformed the MIP from a growth management plan to one of growth promotion – away from the expressed wishes and needs of Maui residents and toward the desires of developers and large landowners.

The plan’s evolution began when the county funded an extensive islandwide survey of residents. Thousands responded, giving their hopes and suggestions for Maui’s future. Citizen input was then utilized by the county’s planning professionals to develop a draft plan.

The council and the mayor then appointed a 25-member General Plan Advisory Committee made up of a diverse group of countywide volunteers to review that plan.

The GPAC held numerous public hearings in every district – in the evenings or on Saturday mornings. Hundreds of residents and community associations clearly told GPAC that they wanted certain elements within the plan: adequate affordable housing for local residents; county and state infrastructure costs controlled by building compact, efficient communities; housing located near jobs; the supply of housing units matched to the demand for housing; green belts separating one community from another in order to retain separate identities; areas to be provided for growth while leaving other areas protected; livable and walkable communities; protection for agricultural lands; and special protection for areas of cultural importance and/or scenic beauty.

GPAC also heard from large landowners and subsequently modified the Planning Department’s draft plan to incorporate all input. The plan included policies, action items and growth boundaries to guide development.

The Maui Planning Commission did much the same as GPAC, gathering additional community feedback and recommending its own independent plan proposal. All recommendations then went to the County Council, which has now spent three years reviewing and modifying the Maui Island Plan.

Unfortunately, during the last few months, the council has been persuaded by large landowners and developers to considerably expand the original proposed growth boundaries even though those original boundaries efficiently provided for an adequate supply of housing. The council’s proposed plan now allows separate communities to merge into large urban areas, thereby losing each town’s unique character.

In Central Maui, the Pu’unani project is being allowed to eliminate all open space between Wailuku and Waikapu. Upcountry, the council is adding 330 acres to Haliimaile despite no indication from the landowner as to what it’ll construct. In South Maui, the council plans to add 390 acres to Makena Resort’s already fully entitled 2,700-plus units.

Perhaps most distressing is the removal of protected areas from the maps of the Maui Island Plan. Protected areas included parks, greenways, sensitive lands and greenbelts. This concept is commonly used throughout Hawaii and elsewhere, yet our council now recommends these lands be shown merely as diagrams, thereby greatly reducing the county’s ability to fully protect them. All the protected areas should be given the security they deserve by designation on maps showing where growth should and should not occur.

Some council members have stated that the plan needs more grass-roots input and that future community plan updates are where the real decisions will be made. Ironically, with the changes of the last few months these same council members now support a plan that rejects the very recommendations put forth by our communities.

So, 2012 closes with a 20-year plan heavy with unneeded urban development areas likely to result in skyrocketing public infrastructure costs shouldered by Maui taxpayers and no guarantee of the county’s commitment to green space and protected areas. One has to wonder what, if any, real decisions will be left to make when our community plans come before the community and why so much that was good in the GPAC and planning commission’s recommended plan has simply been cast aside?

* Irene Bowie is the executive director of Maui Tomorrow Foundation.