October 1995 Home   Newsletters

November 1995

December 1995

President's Message (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Council Acts on Bishop Settlement
Maria Ching Settles with City
Hawaii Women's Coalition Meeting
Education Committee Report
General Membership Meeting
Rebuilding Citizen Confidence in Government
Advisory on Candidates - Charity Fundraising Functions
Holiday Food Drive

Council Acts on Bishop Settlement

For six years, in secret behind closed doors with no information to the public, Bishop Estate and the City's Corporation Counsel appeared to have been negotiating a settlement of some 8 or 10 pending lawsuits against the City (including Sandy Beach) in which the lawsuits would be dropped in exchange for giving Bishop development rights that would permit a hotel, other resort uses, 1700 homes. and industrial and commercial uses in many locations in East Honolulu.

When League first heard about this last April we called it political blackmail. A few days before the October 11th meeting the City Council's Policy Committee, in closed Executive Session adopted a report recommending to the full Council that the proposed consent decree be approved. (We are told that none of the members had seen the proposal before the meeting, and of course there was no public notice.)

The published notice of the October 11th meeting gave no hint to the public of the contents of the proposed consent decree. With some 15 other speakers we testified against it. The following points are excerpted from our testimony:

  1. The City Council will have seriously weakened its own planning, zoning, infrastructure, and other powers.

  2. The various steps in the procedure and their rapid time scheduling preclude any effective public participation in the process.

  3. The last owners are given vested rights far beyond any recognized definition of "Vesting".

  4. A court-ordered "special focused comprehensive land use review process" is cavalierly set up to replace State planning and zoning statutes and the City's Charter. General Plan, Development Plans, and Land Use Ordinance.

  5. If any land use change requested by the developers is not adopted, litigation can be re-instituted canceling the hoped-for monetary savings.

  6. An attractive precedent is set for anyone desiring a land use change to threaten the City with a lawsuit.

The report was approved by a 5 to 4 vote. Opposing it were Felix. Holmes. Bainum, and Yoshimura. On November 20 at League's Planning & Zoning Committee meeting Councilmember John Henry Felix will discuss the issues involved and their present status.

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