President's Message (Arlene Woo)|
General Meeting - October 23
Meeting on Hazardous Waste
Concurrence on Reproductive Choices (Letitia Hickson)
Natural Resources Committee Meeting (Anna Hoover)
Congressional Leadership Debates
Planning Committee Report
NO Charter Package
Planning Committee Report
The Planning and Zoning Committee went into high gear in August and September getting ready for the five-year revision of the 1977 General Plan. The Committee testified on several occasions in spring and summer on changes recommended by the City Department of General Planning (DGP) and the City Planning Commission (CPC), most of which we supported in accordance with our position.
In 1976, Honolulu League, after a series of study sessions and discussions in unit meetings, adopted a revised position on planning and zoning. Among its recommendations were:
League participated actively in the formulation and adoption of the 1977 GP which was the basis of 1978's reduction of apartment densities (Bills 48 and 84) and the Development Plans.
Proposals to Weaken the General Plan
In August, the Office of Council Services issued a 240-page report rejecting most of the important DGP-CPC recommendations and substituting a number of proposals the League committee felt would seriously weaken the 1977 GP, particularly with respect to controlling the distribution of the anticipated population growth in various parts of the island.
The 1977 GP gave the island a generally excellent framework for planning land use and public facilities, giving population policies prominence. In the basic statement of its legislative intent, unanimously adopted in 1978, the Council clearly indicated that "controlled population growth is the primary (population) objective," and that "even more important, is the establishing of a satisfactory pattern of population distribution."
In the Council's draft, which was up for public hearing September 29 at 7:00 P.M., the importance of controlling and distributing population growth is seriously downgraded. Both the original 1977 GP references to its importance, and the DGP-CPC recommended revisions are deleted. The 1977 GP's provision that "the DP's.... must be fully consistent with the objectives and policies of the GP.... " is deleted, and a weaker statement substituted. It is even indicated that all GP objectives and policies are only guidelines, not requirements. References in the GP to "limiting" growth and development are changed to "managing" it.
Other related provisions in the Council's draft also tended to work against planned control of development. For example, the DGP had recommended limiting further off-Waikiki resort development to "existing resort sites at Kahuku, Laie, and Makaha," and the CPC had recommended permitting "orderly minor development in Kahuku, Laie, Makaha and West Beach." The Council draft, however, kept the 1977 GP's provision (added by the Council at the last minute without public discussion) for resort development "....including but not limited to Queen's Beach, West Beach, Kuilima and Makaha."
Development of a Secondary Urban Center (SUC) in the Ewa area was another item of controversy. The DGP-CPC had recommended limiting the SUC to the Makakilo-West Beach area in order to preserve as much agricultural land as possible and to prevent urban sprawl. The Council draft, however, retains all Ewa as the SUC and even adds another major growth area in the Waipahu-Waipio area --- -a total potential development area of some 50 to 60•square miles, measuring from the Council's schematic map.
League Takes Action
The Council's draft came as something of a surprise to the community. Your committee prepared and distributed a four-page text analysis comparing, on key items, the provisions of the 1977 GP, the DGP-CPC recommendations, and the Council's draft, to the membership and other public interest groups in the community in order that they could make input at the public hearings and otherwise inform the Council of their reactions to the Council draft. League's position on the proposed population revisions was also distributed, with the recommendation that "the Council's changes to the 1977 GP should not be adopted." An Action Alert was sent out asking League members to let their Council members know of their desires.
After the Primary Election, League President Arlene Woo wrote letters to the newspapers proposing that rather than adopting the present Council draft, the new council be given a chance to review the matter and adopt the kind of GP it determined to be in accordance with its own development and Planning policies. This need not hold up the planning process as, until revised, the 1977 GP remains in effect and DP's and zoning can proceed within its framework.
By the time the Aloha Voter reaches its members, League will have testified at the hearing on September 29.
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