March 1983 Home   Newsletters

April 1983

May 1983

Annual Meeting - April 16, 1983
President's Message (Arlene Woo)
Toxic Substances in our Lives
League in Action: Planning & Zoning Committee
Membership Introduced to National Security Study
Announcement: "Dialog" on KHET
Council Observers at Work (Dorothy Murdock)
State Convention Slated for June 4
Solidarity Luncheon
Membership Update
Director Nominee Wanted (Barbara Farwell)
Vote Count Volunteers Needed
Corrections to Proposed 1983-84 Budget (Marian Heidel)

League in Action

Planning & Zoning Committee

With almost every one of its members working full time (for pay, that is!), the Planning and Zoning Committee has been doing the best it can with those of us who are unemployed, retired, or just don't know how to say "No".

Thanks to State League Action chair, Marion Saunders, we have been able to review what seems like hundreds of State bills on land use, planning, housing, and related subjects, a few of which we have tried to monitor through the legislative process.

Dee Dee Letts, a new Committee member, has consented to undertake a basic long-range study of Oahu's agricultural lands in relation to the economic difficulties of the sugar and pineapple industries. As the latter terminate the use of potentially many thousands of acres, what could and should be the best use of this land? The Committee felt that this was a basic planning problem which could be a major factor in the island's future development.

The Committee's main attention has remained on the City Council, old and now new, and the City's Department of General Planning and Land Utilization, as the long and complicated planning and zoning process unfolds. This has meant keeping up with several sets of public hearings at both the City Planning Commission and City Council levels.

On February 11, Helen Griffin, Dorothy Murdock and I met with new City Council Planning and Zoning Committee chair, Leigh-Wai Doo, to discuss three League concerns:

  1. the question of how strict or flexible the Council will be in applying the General Plan's population policy guidelines. (League had argued unsuccessfully against the 1982 G.P. revisions on this point which downgraded their importance.)

  2. how to simplify and shorten the long time periods involved in the present Development Plan amendment process.

  3. the difficulty of bringing general island-wide planning issues to the Council's attention, which tends to be focused on decisions about individual properties or the concerns voiced at hearings by specific individuals or local groups of people.

As a basis for the first item, the Committee had made a study of the Koolaupoko Development Plan to show the possible effects on Windward population growth if all the pending requests for DP amendments allowing additional development were granted. This analysis showed that already, even before the original DP for the area has been adopted, requests , have come in to urbanize five times as much land as the DP proposes to the year 2000. The projected population growth would already be twice that which is planned.

On the second point, League suggested that if the annual amendment review process, which now takes about a year and a half to complete, could not be shortened, a Charter change calling for a biennial rather than an annual DP review might be desirable. This would permit decisions on a package of revisions to have been made before a new set of requests has to be reviewed and processed. It would also, we hoped, permit the Department of General Planning to get its head above water long enough between Charter-mandated DP reviews to focus on longer-range planning issues.

Discussion of the third item had to be postponed because of Chairman Doo's required presence at another meeting. The Committee hopes to meet with him from time to time to discuss this and other problems as they come up.

Committee members continue to participate on various planning and zoning advisory committees and to work closely with such community groups as the Consumers' Housing Task Force and Hawaii's Thousand Friends. Our work on housing is handicapped by the absence, for several months, of Committee member and CHTF chair, Vi Gren, who is in San Salvador with husband Lee at the U.S. Embassy there.

The Committee continues to need additional members. We promise to put anyone who ventures to help on as much (or as little) interesting and productive work as you are willing to undertake.

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