Busy 1994 Agenda for P & Z Committee
The Planning and Zoning Committee has a number of major issues on our 1994 plate, including:
- Major revisions of the State Land Use Law, which would change the present Land Use Commission to a State Planning Commission, emphasize comprehensive planning rather than project approvals, increase State control of County land use planning, and loosen restrictions on the use of land presently designated for agriculture. We testified in favor of the first two objectives above but did not support other major aspects of the proposal.
- Several major land use amendments in the 1994 "annual review" of Oahu's Development Plans. These are currently being analyzed by our P & Z Committee. Among other provisions, land would be approved for an additional 11,600 homes on agricultural land in Central Oahu, in spite of the fact that the last D.P. Annual Report shows enough land already approved there to house all the planned population growth to the year 2010. About 13,300 homes on DP - approved land are yet unbuilt.
- Permitting developers to file simultaneously for State Land Use Commission redistricting, County D.P. amendments and zoning approvals. We testified at the State Legislature that this was unworkable and would not implement the stated intent to speed up housing construction. We pointed out that very often. it is financing and lack of infrastructure which is holding up D.P.-approved projects, not planning regulations.
- Establishment of "enterprise zones," which would give tax exemptions to developers in such areas (where economic development was desired) and waive all planning, zoning, and construction regulations. We supported the intent of stimulating job opportunities but opposed the planning, zoning and construction exemptions.
- New zoning regulations for Waikiki, which would greatly increase the density presently permitted, allow greater heights, and loosen use restrictions - all allegedly in order to increase redevelopment and open space. We testified against most of the changes proposed as not increasing open space, being contrary to the stated objectives of the Waikiki Master Plan, and accelerating the already existing over-development and congestion of the area.
- Reversal of last year's "Resort Mixed Use" Redesignation of Waikiki's Hobron Lane area, which we opposed, back to Apartment" use. This is presently an area primarily of low-rise, relatively low-rent housing. Its redevelopment for hotel and commercial uses
and high-density, high-income condominiums would, we testified, displace thousands of families and would exceed' planned limits on the number of visitor units and population in the area.
- Changes in the Development Plan and Zoning processes mandated by the 1992 Charter revisions, which we consistently supported. The Central Oahu and Ewa D.P.'s where most development is taking place - are already being revised. The Primary Urban Center is next. We have urged that no major land use decisions be made in these areas while their revisions are in process, and that the General Plan remain in effect.
These are among the challenging issues before the Committee. As always, new League members (as well as old ones!) are welcome to join it. Meetings are listed in the Aloha Voter's Calendar each month.