September 1990 Home   Newsletters

October 1990

November-December 1990

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Leaguer Appointed to Land Use Commission
Honolulu League Plans General Membership Meeting
It's Vote Count Time - Teamster's Count is Coming Up
News from National
Golf Course Impact Fees (Arlene Ellis)
Right to Die
Hawaii Community Peace Events
League Supports Golf Course Application Moratorium (Astrid Monson)
Honolulu League Cited for "Speak Out Hawaii" Project
League of Women Voters Presents
Welcome New Members
Dorothy Murdock Honored

League Supports Golf Course Application Moratorium

On October 3 League testified before the City Council in strong support of Councilman Doo's Bill 108, proposing a one year moratorium on private golf course applications.

During the past two months we testified before the Planning Commission and also the Council's Zoning Committee on the pending DP Common Provisions amendment which proposes guidelines and procedures for reviewing golf course applications. Though we favor the intent of the amendment, we testified that in our opinion it did not go far enough. The basic problem is the lack of a comprehensive island-wide land use policy and plan for golf courses. Until there is such a policy and plan no more golf course applications should be processed. The proposed moratorium should give time for formulation of such a comprehensive approach to the whole golf course question.

We noted that the DLU's excellent 1989 study of these pending golf course proposals showed some 7,500 acres of land-most prime agriculture-were involved. With additions since then, upwards of 10,000 acres could be required if all were approved. No matter how adequate the environmental standards the Council might set, no matter how many millions of dollars they might impose in impact fees, the fundamental question remains: how much land can we spare on this island for a land use which, though perhaps

serving a small fraction of our local residents, primarily would cater to the desires of tourists and other non-residents able to pay fees far above what our people can afford?

We noted that it is often claimed that our shortage of affordable housing is due to the lack of land planned and zoned for housing. We have not agreed that this is so, and have frequently pointed to the fact that some 8,000 acres of land have been DP'd for housing but are still unbuilt. Designating 10,000 acres for golf courses would inevitably cut into this amount and would preempt further residential designations. At the very least it would increase land prices and make affordable housing that much more difficult to provide.

The League urged the Council to adopt Bill 108 and proceed to formulate and adopt a long-range golf course policy that would balance the needs of this land use against the island's land needs for housing, industry, commerce, recreation, agriculture and other purposes, and an island-wide plan that would permit the local private commercial golf courses only on land not needed or appropriate for these uses. After this is done, we pointed out that uniform standards and impact fees could be developed. In this way the very real danger that the fees would drive the decisions would be lessened and potential legal problems avoided.

Astrid Monson
Planning & Zoning Committee Chair

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