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Annual Meeting - April 25
Hawaii 2000: Standing Room Only?
Nominating Committee Report
Volunteer Vote Counters Needed
Sun Day - May 3, 1978 and/or E.M.B.E.R.
League Is on the Air
Orientation Coffee
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April Calendar
Planning for the City & County of Honolulu - Where Are We? (Fredda Sullam)
Oahu Legislative Districts

Planning for the City & County of Honolulu - Where Are We?

Do you know that your community may be going through a metamorphosis via the development plans and that you now have an opportunity to make suggestions regarding the outcome? Are you familiar with your neighborhood board and its efforts to represent your views regarding the preparation of these development plans which will establish the form which your community will ultimately assume?

Your neighborhood board is your main vehicle for citizen input in the formulation of the development plans from now on. There are presently 27 neighborhood boards out of a possible 32. They serve as the Lead Neighborhood Organization (LNO) in the development plan process. However, when there is no neighborhood board, a Development Plan Ad Hoc Committee is formed. Neighborhood boards are grouped to form a total of 8 Development Area Organizations (DAOs). These were chosen mainly on the basis of common physical and development characteristics as well as the population areas defined in the new General Plan. The role of the DAO is to serve as a forum for discussing areawide issues; i.e., those that affect more than one neighborhood. Recommendations from the DAO meetings are reported to the LNOs to assist their decision making. DAOs do not make recommendations directly to the Department of General Planning. This is done by LNOs only and they may take positions on both neighborhood and areawide concerns.

By charter the Chief Planning Officer (CPO) is responsible for preparing the Development Plans taking into account the concerns of the citizens. If the citizens are dissatisfied with the Development Plans prepared by the CPO, then the citizens can make their views known to the Planning Commission, City Council and Mayor. The CPO will forward the citizens' views along with the Development Plans to the Planning Commission and City Council. What the community thinks is very important to the Planning Commission and the City Council.

At this time you should be assessing the positive and negative aspects of your community and making your desires known to your neighborhood board. Some questions that you might be asking about your community are:

  1. What do you think of the increase in population projections in the General Plan for your area? Do you think it can be accommodated by the present zoning or by rezoning lots into smaller sizes, zoning for garden apartments or highrises, or rezoning some of the open space for residential use?

  2. Does your area have adequate roads, public transportation, educational and recreational facilities, open space, shopping facilities, etc?

  3. Are there certain natural features and historical sites or buildings which you would like to preserve?

  4. Are there certain islandwide issues such as mass transit, water, or resort development that have bearing on your area?

Staff planners from the Department of General Planning attend DAO meetings to give status reports on the various technical studies such as the results of questionnaires and public opinion surveys that are a part of preparing the Development Plans. During the month of February the LNOs, through their representatives on the DAOs, have been conducting research sessions using a process called the "Delbecq Technique". The purpose of this process is to identify neighborhood issues to be discussed, clarified, and finally voted upon to determine priorities. The issues which receive the highest priority will be presented, divided into three sections: neighborhood, regional, and island-wide. Also, an urban design survey taking into account specific neighborhood concerns is being conducted.

When the new Development Plans are adopted, they will become the City's land use policy and will be the guide for all zoning decisions. Charter states that the Development Plans will be adopted by ordinance and that they will be reviewed annually by the Chief Planning Officer. Citizens may again expect to participate in this review process. The reviews won't be as extensive as the effort now being set forth unless major changes in social, economic and environmental values generate a need to significantly change the directions of the plans.

Fredda Sullam

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