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Keeping Up with City Planning

that 54% of the whole state's prime agricultural land is located on

This past month the spotlight has been on the controversial "Green Belt Act" No. 187 of the 1961 Legislature, providing for zoning of all state lands in three categories: Agriculture, Urban, and Conservation.

Purpose of the Act is two-fold. First, it is to preserve prime agricultural land, assigning to urban development the less fertile lands.

Hawaii's economy depends heavily on agriculture. Once farmland is used for residential purpose, it is lost forever to agriculture. Only with careful planning is it possible to retain this valuable resource.

Secondly, this Act assures assessment according to use, to guard against pricing the farmer out of business.

Act 187 provides for a State Land Use Commission to draw up "Temporary Zoning Boundaries" by April 11, 1962, determining and retaining for the next nine months the existing land uses except where developments are "in progress".

By January 1963 the commission was to set final zoning boundaries, which were to allow for future urban expansion.

The Commission did designate the temporary boundaries. But the commissioners wore never confirmed by the State Senate! The Attorney General has stated the Commission did legally operate until the end of the present budget session.

City planning departments will operate within zones set up by the State Land Use Commission. But the Honolulu Planning Department objects to basic planning by the State. Now that developers are fully aware of the impending fixing of zoning boundaries, the heat will be on to residential-zone prime agricultural areas before the deadline.

We will be deeply concerned with developments during the next nine months, and will be considering how we should stand on the respective responsibilities of State and City for the fate of our farmlands.

Planning News Items

Jean Clyde and Liesel Philipp represented us at an emergency meeting called by the City Beautification Sub-Committee of the Community Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Commerce. We, the women and the Outdoor Circle were also represented.

It was proposed to take concerted action promoting an overall Development Plan for the Waikiki-Diamond Head area. One result was the petition seen in the papers and which we hope you all signed downtown or at Ala Moana Center, or in Waikiki where our League manned (er... womanned?) the table -- and, I might add, braved the unusual elements. The Women's Architectural League (architects' wives) assisted us.

Members of our committee recently had a very interesting and useful interview with Mr. Aaron Levine, Executive Director of the new Oahu Development Conference.

Perhaps many of you heard Mr. Levine interviewed on the "Cliff & Marty" radio show April 16, when he described the ODC approach to the planning problem on three fronts: traffic arteries, urban redevelopment, and comprehensive general planning.

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