Category Archives: Community Plans

County Water Policy Under Attack!

December 2, 2015

County Water Availability Policy Under Attack!!

Wednesday, Dec. 2nd 9:00 am. TESTIFY
Water Resources Committee Meeting

Agenda Item WR-11
8th Fl. County Building

200 S. High St, Wailuku, HI 96793

Maui County’s current law gives priority and incentives to 100% Affordable Housing. Developers would have you believe just the opposite! They are trying to blame Maui’s “Show Me the Water” law for our affordable housing shortage.

The truth is that SEVENTY-FIVE PER CENT of all future housing units will be UNAFFORDABLE to those with Maui salaries. New developments are NOW only required to have 25% of their units sell between $300k and $570 k. The rest, 75%, can be any price.
Real affordable housing projects are exempt from the Water Availability law, and are therefore given priority for the water we do have. Repeal of this law will only benefit developers who want to get subdivision approval and increase the value of their land without having to deliver actual housing. Thousands of affordable units that have already been promised remain unbuilt! If more houses do get built without a reliable source of water, existing water users will have to cut back when the next drought strikes.

Our public trust water resources are at risk if the water department loses this important planning tool.

Wednesday, Dec. 2nd 9:00 am. TESTIFY
Water Resources Committee Meeting
8th Fl. County Building

200 S. High St, Wailuku, HI 96793

Can’t COME?

Testimony may be submitted to referencing agenda item WR-11.

Keep our Water Availability Law Strong!!

• Keeps accountability in our water planning. Bill asks large developments to get real and “prove they have a water source”
• Protects water supply of current residents from being over-promised to new, unaffordable developments.
• Protects our aquifers and streams from over exploitation, as was commonly done before the bill passed.
• Has encouraged water conservation efforts when large commercial water users like hotels want to expand
• Asks County Water Department to comment on all proposed wells, including their impacts on the exercise of traditional and customary Native Hawaiian rights and practices.

Background: The water availability policy, codified at Chapter 14.12 of the Maui County Code, was enacted in 2007 with the intent to conserve the county’s water resources. The ordinance requires applicants for development approvals to provide evidence of “a long-term, reliable supply of water.”
The Committee is being asked to approve amendments to REPEAL the current bill.

“The policy is often mentioned in discussions as one of the main reasons why affordable housing has not been built. This review will provide a chance to evaluate what the policy’s true impact has been.”

The current law actually supports affordable housing being built, since it exempts all the following type of developments from proving a water source, giving them priority access to County water supplies where available:

• family subdivisions
• infill projects of 10 lots or less in west or central Maui service areas
• projects with 100% affordable housing in west or central Maui service areas
• public/quasi public housing projects in west or central Maui service areas

If the law is repealed, thousands of new units already approved in Central, South and West Maui will be “entitled” to water meters, whether there
are sufficient water resources available or not.

Mark Hyde: Blanket legislative change to fix zoning mess a remedy worse than the disease

By Mark Hyde

While I agree with Dave DeLeon  that the county has made a mess of planning and zoning, the blanket legislative change proposed by Maui County Council Member Don Couch to address the problem is a remedy worse than the disease.

Furthermore, the megamall case cited by Mr. DeLeon to justify his call to action undercuts his argument; in fact, it makes the opposite case. Of course, developers who want to build megamalls in light industrial designated land/zones chafe under carefully written community plans, but neither Kihei’s community plan nor county zoning played any role in the megamall outcome.

In a nutshell, in 1995, Kaonoulu Ranch petitioned the Hawaii state Land Use Commission (LUC) to change the categorization of 88 acres of its land located in Kihei for development into a 123-lot light industrial park. The LUC approved the change, ordering, per state law, that the land be developed as represented.

The ranch declined to develop the property and instead sold it to Maui Industrial Partners (MIP) in 2005, subject to the LUC order. Once MIP bought the land, it quietly began subdividing the property into a few large parcels for retail development. About five years later, MIP sold the land to a Texas developer who thereafter announced, to the surprise of the South Maui community, that it planned to build the largest shopping center in Maui County on the land – with the support of our mayor and planning director.

People who care about good planning and Kihei’s future, marginalized in Mr. DeLeon’s Viewpoint as “environmentalists” (job killers) and “literalists” (small-minded), brought the matter to the attention of the LUC, and after a four-day trial, with the county supporting the rogue development, the LUC found the owner in violation of its order.

Developing our communities thoughtfully, in accordance with good planning principles and the law, is something Mr. DeLeon and I agree upon. Changing the County Code as proposed by Mr. Couch will not achieve this end, nor will hysteria from the Realtors Association of Maui.

* Mark Hyde is president of South Maui Citizens for Responsible Growth.

CANCELLED. Community Plans under attack again!

South Maui Landowners Map 2011
October 9, 2015
9:00 amto10:00 am

Good Job Troops!!!! You beat back the latest attempt to destroy our Community Plans!!!!!

Planning Committee Chair Don Couch has CANCELLED the Planning Committee’s meeting that was scheduled for this Friday, October 9 at 9am.

That meeting agenda contained the item to over-ride specific community plan “land-use designations” with overly-generous zoning definitions that would wipe out much of the effort that went into developing all of Maui’s community plans. “(PC-21)AMENDING COMMUNITY PLAN REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO LAND USE DESIGNATIONS”

This matter is not dead and may rear its ugly head in the near future.


Save Our Community Plans (Again!)

Testify 9 am, Friday, October 9, 2015

Our Community Plans Are Under Attack Once Again. The latest proposed revisions to Maui County Code (PC-21) are a blatant attempt to reinterpret and trump all of our existing community plans at once!

After a strong showing by concerned citizens in June, the first attempt at this “technical amendment” was sent back to the drawing board. The latest version of this bill has different language, but would have the same effect – to gut the Community Plans, by saying that all of our community plan land use designations will be merely “representative”, and therefore would not rule over the zoning.

During years of dedicated work, Citizen Advisory Committees and concerned citizens were clearly and repeatedly told that land use zoning must comply with the Community Plans. This ordinance would turn that on its head, and would violate Hawaii State law.

Please come and testify!

Don Couch’s Planning Committee is scheduled to meet on Friday, October 9th at 9:00 am.


Council Chamber

Kalana o Maui Building, 8th Floor

200 South High Street

Wailuku, Hawaii

If you cannot testify in person, please send comments as soon as possible.

Email comments to:

Planning Committee

Don Couch, Chair 

Robert Carroll, Vice Chair;    

Gladys Baisa

Elle Cochran 

Don Guzman 

Mike Victorino  

Mike White      


Ask the Council Planning Committee to respect the hard work of the Community Plan Citizen Advisory Committees. Ask them to FILE County Communication 15-154 and other related action.

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


Maui’s Future Is Being Created Now by Dick Mayer

Maui is at an important crossroad. Major decisions are being made that will affect every resident and shape our beloved island’s communities and environment. These decisions and their timely implementation will allow us to control anticipated events and may prepare us to react effectively to events beyond our control.

Changes and Challenges:

a) Our agricultural future may face the biggest changes. Numerous forces raise a cloud over HC&S’s sugar operations, including increased concern over the health effects of cane smoke; legal challenges to restore water flow to East Maui streams; reduced electricity sales to Maui Electric; and decreased revenues due to low world sugar prices. Economics may be the decider, and that includes A&B’s desire to “bank” its valuable lands and retain water rights.

In addition, the courts will decide whether Monsanto can continue to grow and experiment with GMO crops on Maui due to health concerns that led to an initiative against GMO agricultural practices by Maui County residents.

Concurrently, there is a movement to make Maui agriculturally self-sufficient and organically healthier. Will Maui’s corporate agriculture be replaced by a more diversified, sustainable agriculture?

b) Our Maui County government has operated with a “Strong-Mayor” format for many decades and may be in serious need of a different structure. Most local governments of Maui’s size utilize a “Council + County Manager” structure where a professional County Manager and department heads are selected based on experience and qualifications, rather than on political connections, “name recognition,” or as a reward for loyal followers. In 2016 residents may vote for a Charter change.

c) Due to the uncontrolled growth of luxury homes that drive up home costs and rental fees, local families are becoming frustrated that their children are being forced to leave Maui. Our County government will need to regulate McMansions and provide for additional work-force housing in livable neighborhoods with proper infrastructure.

d) Our hospital’s management will change from public (State control) to a private operation. To balance its budget will Kaiser cut back on services? Dismiss employees? Raise rates?

e) Our Time-Warner cable system, plus much of our internet and telephone service may be taken over by Charter Communications which doesn’t have the highest reputation. Will the Hawaii DCCA actively protect consumers with tough, pro-active negotiation of contracts and subsequent strict enforcement of conditions? How will Maui’s local Akaku station fare?

f) Maui’s electricity future will change if Hawaii’s Public Utility Commission allows Florida-based NextEra to take over the Hawaiian Electric Company monopoly, including its MECO subsidiary. However, Maui County is now investigating alternative energy management opportunities: a Maui-based public utility, or a consumer-owned cooperative like Kauai’s.

g) Electricity production and distribution may adjust to reflect a need to reduce electricity costs, control climate change, and become less dependent on imported fuels. Solar, wind, and geothermal could play a larger role, especially if we decide to be less reliant on a large centralized power plant and more comfortable with distributed production and local battery capability.

h) Will high tourism employment continue if the County persists in allowing hotels to transform into timeshares with a reduced need for hotel and restaurant employees? With many unemployed workers, wages may be reduced for the remaining workers resulting in housing and rental costs becoming even less affordable.

i) Beyond our local control, but nevertheless significant, are several natural environment trends: modified weather patterns that may mean reduced and more variable rainfall, making agriculture less secure; decreased comforting trade winds; and rising sea levels, forcing Maui to restrict public and private shoreline construction.

j) The County administration’s proposal to push for direct international flights from some Asian cities could open Maui to serious pests for which we are unprepared. The administration wants to allow tourists to have passports checked at the departure airport, but is making no provision for needed inspections of potential invasive species, especially from tropical cities.

The many decisions we face mean that Maui’s future will probably be significantly different from today. Our leaders will need to make politically difficult choices that can reduce negative consequences and enhance benefits. Will they (and we) be up to it? The answers will determine Maui’s future.

Retired Professor Dick Mayer taught economics and geography at Maui Community College for 34 years and was Vice-Chair of the Maui General Plan Advisory Committee.

Maui Tomorrow Testimony on Lana’i Community Plan


To: Chair Don Couch and Committee Members, Planning Committee

Maui County Council

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


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:

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.


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.


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:


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.


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.


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.”


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

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.


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.


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 and
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


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.


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.