August-September 1994 Home   Newsletters

October 1994

November 1994

President's Message: LWV to Go to Beijing Conference (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Political Ads Found to Lack Substance
Volunteers Needed for October Vote Count (Arlene Ellis)
Leaguer Authors Book about Peace
Planning and Zoning Committee Faces Post Election Challenges (Astrid Monson)
Environment Committee to Work with Other Groups
League Involved in Convention Center Planning
Human Resources Committee: LWV on Violence Prevention (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
1994-95 Membership Directory Changes

Planning and Zoning Committee Faces Post Election Challenges

League's Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Committee will be facing unprecedented challenges, now that the Sept. 17 primary is over. There will probably be major changes in planning, land use, and transit decisions at the city and state levels. On the city level, new faces will mean changed attitudes and voting majorities on many issues on which League has held positions and taken action.

During the primary election campaign many candidates stated their opinions and intentions about these issues. It is clear that there is considerable sentiment toward "streamlining" the development process.

There has been no mention of the fact that enough land has already been approved in Oahu's development plans to build 80,000 homes, but that only about 4,000 a year are actually being built, of which only a small fraction are priced at under $200,000 and almost none are for rent.

Here are a few of the issues your P&Z committee will have to deal with in the uncertain political climate before us:

  1. The new comprehensive planning process recently adopted by city charter amendment will have to be protected from pressures to go back to the previous project-by-project approval process it was supposed to replace.

  2. Though the Hawaii Convention Center Authority has picked Nordic/PCL to construct the convention center on the Aloha Motors site, neither a comprehensive traffic analysis of its impacts nor a general Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) have been made.

    League will be making a critical analysis of the two new reports when they are issued.

  3. The city council zoning committee recently unanimously rejected the city administration's re zoning proposals for Waikiki, because no master plan had been adopted. League will have to continue to monitor this situation.

  4. Kakaako's redevelopment now includes plans made by the Bishop Estate, one of the area's major landowners, to build 2,400 apartments and four million square feet of commercial floor area. League will have to analyze these plans in terms of the overall policies governing Kakaako's redevelopment, It should be noted that the four million square feet of commercial floor area Bishop proposes to build is about half as much as now exists in the entire downtown financial district.

  5. Several major planning issues are emerging in Central and Leeward Oahu districts. One is the re-use of some 3,600 acres comprising the Barber's Point Naval Air Station. A planning consultant is about to be named to work with the Barber's Point Re-use Committee. Bob Crone represents League on this committee.

  6. Another major issue will be the future use of 10,000 or more acres now in sugar production A newly adopted state law sets up a state Agribusiness Development Corporation with broad responsibilities for developing alternative crops and their marketing. Basic development policy decisions will have to be made. Interestingly, the issue seems to have shifted from arguments that the scarcity of water limits development to questions of how and where existing water, augmented by the cessation of sugar production, should be used and distributed.

There are other issues. The city council is just beginning to take action to improve bus transit facilities. Politicians who once endorsed rail transit are now talking about dedicated bus lanes and increasing the bus fleet. Like the land use issues, these issues are complex and require a great deal of research and analysis. To do the job right, the P&Z committee needs help. The next committee meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 26 at noon in the League office. Join us - the coming year should be interesting!

Astrid Monson
Chair, Planning and Zoning Committee

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