October 1998 Home   Newsletters

November-December 1998

January-February 1999

Annual General Membership Program Planning Meeting
President's Message (Grace Furukawa)
Revision of Land Use Ordinance Proposed (Astrid Monson)
Con Con / POC (Jean Aoki)
LWVUS Response to 60 Minutes (Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins)
HECO: 138-kv Project (Ruth Brantley)
Violence Prevention Committee Report (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Education Committee (Mary Anne Raywid)
Hawaii Clean Elections (Grace Furukawa)
Program Planning Sets the Course
Special Thanks to League Volunteers
Membership

Revision of Land Use Ordinance Proposed

Ever since 1973, League has been active in the adoption of the Oahu General Plan, eight area development plans, and a new zoning ordinance (the Land Use Ordinance or LUO, designed to stop uncontrolled development allowed in the 1960's and to promote long-range, comprehensive planning). In spite of the General Plan and the Development Plans, the City Council did not stop the proliferation of urban sprawl not the high cost to the city of providing the infrastructure such development needed. The City's Planning Department continued to define a plan as a map showing all the projects approved by the City, and to revise it every year to accommodate developers' applications for Plan changes. Since these projects then had to be zoned, there were cries of a duplication and overlapping of Planning and Zoning.

In 1992, we managed to get the City Charter revised to make a clear distinction between the two and to require the Planning Department to revise the island's eight Development Plans on a conceptual and long-range basis and not project-by-project.

An effort to combine the two departments was unsuccessful, but continued and was presented to the Council a few months ago as a part of the mayor's "streamlining program". When the necessary six council votes were not forth-coming to put the proposal on the ballot, the Mayor and Council Chair convened a Charter Commission which in a scant two months approved placing it on the November 3 ballot.

League took legal action alleging that the Commission was illegally convened and therefore the amendments to the Charter were illegally submitted to the voters on November 3. The Court denied League's request for Temporary Restraining Order.

As though this weren't enough, we are now faced with another attempt to streamline the process-a complete revision of Bill 72 supposedly to make it user-frendly and easier for home owners and developers to get the approvals and permits they desire.

The 392-page "amendment" is an entirely new ordinance, eliminating large sections of the present LUO, adding many new ones, and changing others. Many of the changes it proposes would reduce the amount of public participation now provided for, and would shorten the time Neighborhood boards and other organizations now have for study and analysis of proposed planning and zoning changes. Some types of development that now require public hearing would not longer do so.

With planning functions greatly curtailed by the charter changes voted on and with a new zoning ordinance reducing opportunities for careful public review and action on zoning changes, the "streamlining" would likely take us back to the 1960's, when development took place with little or no control and when planning in any real sense did not exist.

Bill 72 has had one reading before the City Council, at which League testified. The next step will be a hearing before the City Planning Commission, after which it will doubtless be referred to the Council's Zoning Committee. League will have ample opportunity to explain our opposition, and we will do so.

Astrid Monson
Planning & Zoning Committee

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