City Council Style
In spite of serious questions raised by three City Councilmembers -- Duke Bainum, Steve Holmes, and Donna Kim -- on August 6 the Council Majority, led by Economic Development, Planning and Tourism Committee Chair Mufi Hannemann, speeded through final approval of a hastily amended Ewa Development Plan and a revised Bill 67 CD-1 implementing it.
League and a number of the other organizations and individuals asked for time for further review and discussion and another public hearing, so that some eighty-one amendments proposed on July 29, as well as further changes made since then, could be more carefully studied before the amended Plan was adopted. The proposed amendments, it was pointed out, were not available until noon July 29, but were adopted by the EDPT Committee July 30. The final amended Plan and Bill 67 CD-1 were not available until noon August 5, but were up for final hearing and adoption August 6.
The Ewa Development Plan was the first to be revised under the new Charter provisions adopted in 1992. The 1996 draft Plan received general support and was the subject of a number of community, City Planning Commission, and City Council hearings. League supported it generally as a great improvement over the pre-1992 Development Plan, with one serious objection -- that it included as developable land within the proposed Growth Boundary far more land than the planned population growth required. This, we testified, could lead to widespread suburban sprawl, high infrastructure costs, and difficulties in providing public transit, and was directly in violation of General Plan policies.
The July 29 amendments and the final Plan, however, made extensive changes in the 1996 drafts of the Plan and how it would be implemented. They expanded the potential growth area even further, they exempted from review all projects already zoned under the existing Plan, and they added language weakening its enforceability, among other amendments we could not support.
Hawaii's Thousand Friends, the Sierra Club, and one or two neighborhood boards and individuals from various parts of the island made similar statements, but immediate adoption was urged by the developer-financed Land Use Research Foundation, the building industry, construction trades unions, Campbell Estate, and a number of Ewa residents. They prevailed
Planning & Zoning
Editor's Note: For a complete text of this article we recommend that members read the "Island Voices" article in the 8/14 Advertiser written by Astrid