What's Happening in Land Use?
Fall, 1971, and everybody's talking about land use. But will anything be done about:
conflicts between state and County planning and land use?
speculation driving up prices of land?
need for open space, housing, transportation?
urbanization of agricultural land?
There is a growing sense of urgency, as shown by these recent events:
In September, the Hawaii Congress of Planning Officials adopted a resolution introduced by the Land Use Commission, calling for the LUC and state and county governments to work toward a more action-oriented program of land use planning. It also called for the LUC to evaluate vacant urban lands, especially on Oahu, for possible* down-zoning if the owner has failed to carry out proposed development plans. Preliminary steps in such a survey are already starting, according to
*The term "down-zoning", as used in Hawaii means the land can be less densely built upon than its previous zoning allowed.
Sen. John Hulten and Hawaii County Mayor Shunichi Kimura call for creation of a state land bank. The state would buy land needed for future growth and release it as needed, preventing speculative increases in cost.
Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi proposed the creation of one statewide planning body to replace state and city-county land use and planning commissions.
Citizens' groups spoke out: Life of the Land petitioned the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources to begin immediately a
much-delayed revision of Regulation 4, which controls the administration of conservation lands. Citizens for Hawaii adopted a resolution calling on the LUC to
undertake major rezoning only during the specified five-year review periods and to revoke upzoning if the land owner fails to carry out his proposed plans within a specified time.
The Overview Corporation, which has been hired by the state to prepare a state wide open space plan will have its proposals ready in December. The report will
call for major changes in planning agencies, and will include recommendations for
specific legislative action.
As all these ideas start to jell, we will doubtless be frustrated by our inability to take action based on a League land use consensus. However, Leagues can provide a vale - able service to the community by efforts to educate the public about land use issues and to promote widespread public discussion of plans and proposals to direct Hawaii's future.
Land Use chrm.