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President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Charter Commission
Charter Commission Approves Ballot Submission of P&Z Changes (Astrid Monson)
League Testifies
Partly Published Letter (Astrid Monson)
Action Alert
Public Health Forum
Good to Hear from Marion Saunders (Marion Saunders)
Voter Service

Charter Commission Approves Ballot Submission of Planning and Zoning Changes

In February 1990 the Building Industry magazine published an article signed by Arlene Kim Ellis as President of LWVH calling for basic changes in the planning process.

"If developers, the building industry, community groups and the general public can agree on one thing, it is that Oahu's development planning process isn't working the way they want it to," she said. "Could we not now, at last, sort out the respective functions of the Department of General Planning and the Department of Land Utilization so that the former would deal with basic planning and development problems, leaving the zoning maps and regulations to the latter?"

"The development plan review process could then focus on issues and trends affecting an area and recommend broad changes in land use allocations and types of development to meet changed conditions and unanswered needs. The processing of development plan changes could then be scheduled only every two or three years, instead of taking over the planning process year after year."

On June 30, 1992, the Charter Commission, after eight months of work, innumerable public testimonies, and half a dozen drafts, unanimously approved submission to the voters of re-writes of the Charter's chapters on Planning and Zoning along the lines we had advocated. Basic provisions of the recommended planning system are:

  1. General Plan to include the most desirable population distribution and regional development pattern.

  2. Development plans to be conceptual, not projectspecific, serving as policy guides for zoning maps and regulations and for public and private investment decisions.

  3. Purpose of GP and DP is to recognize and anticipate the major problems and opportunities concerning the social, economic and environmental needs and future development of the City and to set forth a desired direction and patterns of future growth and development.

  4. Bi-annual report reviewing condition of the city with respect to the policies and objectives of the general plan and guidelines and principles of the development plans, which may recommend revisions in both.

  5. Annual report on status of projects approved for development.

  6. Requirements for variances to include use as well as bulk matters.

A number of suggestions were not approved for submission to the voters:

  1. Combination of DGP and DLU into department (opposed by LWVH)

  2. Strengthening of qualifications of director of the two departments (supported)

  3. Transferring of jurisdiction over zoning maps to DGP (suggested by John Whalen, Chair of Charter Commission's committee on planning and zoning as leading to better coordination.)

The entire package will probably appear on the ballot in the form of a single question, such as "Should the planning process be streamlined?" We had suggested "made more effective" instead of "streamlined." This and some forty other questions will be voted on by the public on Primary Day, Sept. 19.

Astrid Monson
Chair, Planning and Zoning

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