December 1994 Home   Newsletters

January 1995

February 1995

President's Message: Leage Anticipates a Busy 1995 (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Recommendations for State Convention Agenda
Mayor Outlines Ambitious Plan for Honolulu
New Directions for 1995
Physical and Sexual Violence Bill to Be Revised (Pamela Ferguson-Brey)
Congratulations, Pamela!
Planning and Zoning Committee Has Busy Month (Astrid Monson)
State Data Book Wins Again (Astrid Monson)
City Finances Discussion Slated (Jean Aoki)
Rights Petition Circulated
Information Exchange Conference Planned (Marion Saunders)
Letters to the Editor - LWV Action Praised (Faye Kennedy)
Letters to the Editor - Mahalo for LWV Kokua (Martha Ross)
Volunteers Needed

Planning and Zoning Committee Has Busy Month

During the past months the Planning and Zoning committee has been working on four major items; two of them, the Waikiki Gateway Site, and the Lihi Lani proposed development at Pupukea, were outlined in the December Voter. The other two are:

1994 Annual Development Plan Review

Though the amended charter no longer calls for project-by-project amendments to the development plans (DP), a number, mostly rejected in previous years, are still before the Council. On Nov. 2,1994, Arlene Ellis testified in some detail on six bills. On five of them we agreed with Robin Foster, at that time the city's Chief Planning Officer (CPO), that the projects should not be approved. Since then Foster has resigned and has been replaced by Cheryl Soon, formerly employed by a subcontractor to the Oahu Transit Group, which won the contract to build the rail guideway (which was not built when the City Council refused to approve the excise tax increase that would have funded it.)

Our reasons for recommending rejection included: that enough land had already been DP-approved to accommodate more than the expected growth to the year 2010 but was still vacant (see accompanying State Data Book article); that action should in any case be delayed until the planning department had completed the charter-mandated comprehensive revision of the D Ps for central Oahu and Ewa in March, 1995; that the commercial land/ or industrial developments proposed were inappropriately located or not needed at this time. The proposals were referred back to committee but were not on its Nov. 15 agenda.

Royal Kunia Expansion

On November 16 your P&Z chair testified before the Planning Commission against granting a re-zoning application for further expansion of the Royal Kunia development in Central Oahu. We had agreed with the Chief Planning Officer in both 1993 and 1994 that the DP application for this project should be rejected, and we thought it had been.

Unexpectedly, a public hearing was called for its rezoning, which technically cannot happen until after the DP change is approved. We were informed that the current Council, with two temporary members, had indeed approved the 1993 bill on Sept. 21, 1994, though to our knowledge no public notice had been given of this impending action. It went to Mayor Harris on Oct. 4, 1994, was returned unsigned, and thus became law Oct. 15, 1994. Strangely, the identical 1994 bill was on the Council agenda for first reading on Oct. 12, 1994 but was later withdrawn from the 1994 Annual DP review.

At the zoning hearing Nov. 16,1994, we traced the history of the DP action and testified, in part:

"As a public interest organization which regularly follows the annual DP reviews and related zoning changes, we were both surprised and outraged that public participation in so major a land use matter had been short-circuited in this manner, Be that as it may, in our opinion, rezoning at this time is neither advisable nor necessary, for the planning reasons cited by the CPO in 1993 and 1994 and in our 1993 testimony. We urge you to deny the zoning application at this time."

Astrid Monson
Chair, Planning and Zoning Committee

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