March 1991 Home   Newsletters

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May 1991

Vote Counts Continue
League Testifies at City Council
Viewpoint
1991 Development Plans -- More Golf Courses...? (Astrid Monson)
Beadie Dawson to be Honored by YWCA
Council Observor

Viewpoint

VIEWPOINT 3/25/91

The Mayor's media war with Horita and the Council over the Royal Kunia golf courses and the size of impact fees brings to mind statements we made when the Mayor first appeared before the Council asking for $100 million dollar impact fees for golf course approvals. Other than the possible legal consequences of such an exaction, we felt that there seemed to be a confusion between the payment of fees to compensate the community for providing public utilities and services needed by proposed golf courses, with the extraction of what are essentially taxes. We fully support the community's right to levy such taxes, but impact fees are not the way to do it.

The danger of such enormous fees is that they could become the driving force behind land use and zoning approvals and result in the selling of zoning or as one Councilman put it, "extortion". Instead of good land use planning, land use would be determined by how much could be extracted from rich developers.

Whatever happened to the proposed moratorium on golf course applications that was designed to give time for a formulation of a comprehensive planning approach to the whole golf course question? 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 on land not needed or appropriate for these uses must be formulated and adopted. After this is done, uniform standards and impact fees could be developed.

We oppose the selling of zoning to the highest bidder no matter what the public benefits that could be bought with the proceeds.

VIEWPOINT 4/3/91

What is the reason for the city's reluctance to look at and try innovative ways to relieve traffic congestion today?

Three months ago a proposal was made by tour bus companies to provide a fleet of deluxe buses to carry commuters downtown at set time schedules with guaranteed seating for $40 per month with a $60 subsidy from the city to make it economically viable. Last week we read that the city wants to "delay and defer" this project.

Currently the city subsidizes each express bus rider at $85 per month. With a $25 savings per express bus passenger and no capital cost for new buses comparable to those being offered, this innovative "Bus Plus" project is certainly worth consideration. Eighty-five deluxe buses with an average load of 55 seated passengers total 4,675 persons. With this service geared to drivers who are sick of the hassle of peak hour traffic, the high cost of parking and auto upkeep--who are willing to pay $40 per month to get to work on timeā€”it may persuade several thousand commuters to leave their cars at home.

Obviously heavy automobile traffic slows even express buses. However, a system of reversible lanes for major freeways and arterial highways leading directly to downtown, restricted to buses and high occupancy vehicles could improve transit time as well as traffic congestion.

The time to deal with our traffic problems is now, not in the distant future when and if fixed rail transit is in place.

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