January 1994 Home   Newsletters

February 1994

March 1994

National Program Planning for 1994-1996
Hawaii State Ethics Commission Welcomes its Newest Member
Marion Saunders Honored
Nominations for Officers & Directors for 1994
Council Town Meeting "Land Use Planning..." (Astrid Monson)
Competition for Water: Citizens' Roles and the Public Trust
Vote Count

Council Town Meeting "Land Use Planning - Can it Be Improved?"

Making a plan is relatively easy. What's hard is implementing it, seeing it through.

For the first time since 1977, there is hope that at long last we can begin to do what the 1977 Charter intended--to identify our major development problems and opportunities and deal with them through comprehensive planning and implementation of the policies we adopt. We have not been doing any of these things. Our planning process has consisted primarily of reviewing specific development proposals, approving them, and putting them on a map, where they stay until changed.

The new process will not be easy. By their very nature land use plans direct certain land uses to certain places and not to others, and prevent some areas from developing at all. Until now, developers defined the planning process as changing the plan so that they could build what they wanted to, where they wanted it, even though the plan would have prevented it.

Until the City Council, the City Administration, planners, land owners, developers and the public take planning seriously and realize that in the long run it is in the best interests of all of us to implement it, the process will continue to be a tug of war between competing interests. We will go on having heated and endless controversies between developers and community groups, that result in unsatisfactory compromises that please no one.

Take traffic as an example. We all submit to speed limits and other. traffic regulations. We know that this is the only way. we can get where we want to go, safely. We realize that this is for the good of all, that without these controls there would be mayhem.

If we really want to improve land use planning and its implementation, we have to create a similar climate of acceptance. Yet there are those who would make a mockery of land use planning and its enforcement.

Our system is based on private ownership of land, but its use is under public control. Land is not ours to exploit or destroy--it is to be nurtured, to be used responsibly, to be passed on to our children, to benefit us all, now and in the future.

Astrid Monson
P & Z Chair

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