May 1995 Home   Newsletters

June-July 1995

August-September 1995

Cancer Killed Miller But Did Not Beat This Peace Activist (Rod Ohia)
Leaguers Remember Rhoda
President's Message: The League and Its Future (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Country Zoning for Lihi Lani Illegal (Astrid Monson)
Report on Education (Pam Christoffel)
State League Convention Notes
Violence Prevention (Cindy Spencer)
Planning Conferences (Jackie Parnell)
Annual Meeting Notes (Jean Aoki)
Abercrombie Challenges League (Jean Aoki)
Membership Updates
Rhoda Miller Peace Garden (Helen Griffin, Betty M. Jacob & James McCutchen)
Focus on School Reform

"Country" Zoning for Lihi Lani Illegal

In a water-shed decision that bodes ill for Oahu's future development, the City Council on May 24 voted 5 to 4 to rezone some 765 acres adjacent to Pupukea Highlands for "Country" estates. The site is part of 1,144 acres being developed by Obayashi Hawaii as a "planned agricultural community."

(A "Country" district permits one dwelling per acre and does not require agricultural activity. "Clusters" are permitted.)

The rezoning was debated long and hard in a series of City Council meetings. Upwards of 200 persons testified pro and con, with scores of blue t-shirted supporters bused in from various parts of the island. Supporters emphasized jobs, housing, and community benefits promised by Obayashi. Opponents cited damage to the area's rural life style, traffic and sewage problems, and urbanization contrary to the General Plan. Some, including LWV, urged that decision be delayed until the 1992 Charter-mandated Development Plan revision for the North Shore was completed.

With the extravagant rhetoric, emotion, and misinformation stripped away, the facts were clear enough:

  1. The land is in the State Agricultural district. According to State law and a recent Land Use Commission ruling, residential dwellings are not permitted in a state agricultural district unless related to an agricultural activity or definable as "farm dwellings." State law preempts any county ordinance to the contrary.

  2. In the LUO regulations for Country district, the first guideline is that the land must be in the State Urban district. Lihi Lani is not.

  3. The land was zoned Agricultural when purchased many years ago at a reported price of (9 $5000 an acre. As Country district lots of 1-to-3 acres sold at $200,000 to $400,000, it would be totally uneconomic for bona-fide agricultural use.

  4. The community benefits offered (some $13 million in value) are insignificant in relation to the increased value of the land ($100 - 150 million).

  5. Fully built up, the development would add up to 1000 persons to the future population on land which already exceeds the planned population the General Plan targets for the year 2010.

A coalition of various North Shore and island-wide groups and individuals filed suit against the City charging that the zoning to "Country" is illegal in view of State law and Oahu's General and Development Plans. LWV Honolulu is among those joining in the suit. Stay tuned.

Astrid Monson
Chair, Planning & Zoning

May 1995 Home   Newsletters August-September 1995