September 1999 Home   Newsletters

October 1999

December, 1999

Development Plan Revision Process Well Underway
President's Message - Conflict Resolution Meeting (Grace Furukawa)
In Memory / New Members / Contributions
Hawaii Clean Elections Hires Executive Director
Very Special Congratulations and Aloha
Agenda for the Nation on Violence Against Women

Development Plan Revision Process Well Underway

The Honolulu City Council adopted new Development Plans for Ewa and East Honolulu. And, with another name attached - Sustainable Communities Plan - four more development plans passed the Planning Commission and are ready to be heard by the City Council. These are the Koolauloa, North Shore, Koolaupoko and Waianae Sustainable Communities Plans.

The LWVs Planning Committee is now focusing on departmental draft of the next proposal, the Primary Urban Center Development Plan (PUC DP). A summary of some of the comments included in a LWV 13 page response follows.

This is doubtless the most difficult area of the island to plan for. Already, it is largely built-up and contains the broadest range of development types and planning problems to be found on Oahu.

The LWV comments addressed basic assumptions regarding population, density and land area. The 1977 General Plan, adopted population projections show the PUC growth to be 25% of the total island growth. The objective was to fill in the PUC to its full development potential. It also directed 29% of the population to the second city of Kapolei and 7% to rural areas. This was agreed to by all concerned, in hopes of decreasing additional urban sprawl and high infrastructure costs.

From 1975 to 1990, the PUC grew by 25%, but Kapolei by 16% and rural areas by 59%.

The LWV points out this lack of compliance with the General Plan resulted from the abundance of vacant land in the rural areas; the city rezoned land in Central Oahu and other fringe areas to meet developers requests; and families preferred suburban-type living.

The proposed PUC DP also assumes major population growth in the PUC. The draft plan seems to indicate that 40% of the projected increase in housing units island-wide will be in the PUC. Policies are proposed in the plan to achieve desirable and needed residential neighborhood and commercial growth and redevelopment - with public funds committed to cover a substantial portion of the cost.

Forty-one neighborhoods - mostly in areas termed by the Plan as Heart of Honolulu or Heart of Pearl City - are targeted for growth. To encourage this, proposals include increasing density in some of Oahus already most heavily built-up areas, consolidation of lots by using governments powers of eminent domain, reliance on liberalized mixed uses, and more flexibility in development controls (including lifting zoning regulations, revising building code requirements, and promoting greater design flexibility).

The LWV believes that the proposed plan must deal with redevelopment, and new development in economic terms. With the high cost of land in the PUC, redevelopment at densities less than high density may be economically impossible. An increase in housing prices and rents are likely to follow. The proposed plan recommends that the City establish and fund an integrated, proactive ...redevelopment program. The LWV comments that another City authority layer would do no better than HCDA or Aloha Tower Development Corporation.

The LWV questions the proposals to lift zoning regulations, revise building code require ments, and promote higher densities with liberalizing mixed use zoning. The LWV notes there is not enough emphasis on preserving views nor is there a discussion of compatibility of uses. The LWV also questions the notion that Village Inns and Bed & Breakfast businesses should be located outside of Waikiki. A proposed Ala Moana/Kakaako/ Downtown transit link raises the question of hotels along the entire corridor and the Aloha Tower area.

There are many other issues raised in the LWV document. It can be obtained by contacting the League office.

Public information meetings will be held about the PUC DR The LWV encourages you to attend. This document, when adopted in final form, will set development policy for the heart of our island for years to come. (For the complete submittal please contact the LWV office.)

September 1999 Home   Newsletters December, 1999