Panel moves to extend deadline for review of Molokai Community Plan

Kelly King

Kelly King

The Maui News

The Maui County Council’s Planning Committee deferred action on the Molokai Community Plan update Thursday while committee Chairwoman Kelly King said she’d seek a council resolution to extend its deadline for approval until the end of this year.

Without the deadline extension, council members would need to take action by May 4 — one year from the date of the Planning Department’s transmittal of the draft revised plan to the council last year. By law, the council has a year to review plan updates.

Committee members expressed no objection to extending the deadline, and Molokai testifiers supported a longer review to give the community more time to meet with council members and provide them input on the plan.

King presented committee members with a timetable to finish the Molokai plan revision by the end of the year. She said she and Molokai Council Member Stacy Crivello planned to meet with Molokai residents informally Feb. 28 and March 1, although that appeared tentative after other committee members expressed an interest in attending the meetings.

Department of Planning Director Will Spence didn’t oppose a deadline extension for the council’s review of the Molokai plan.

“I would like to think we could get done by the end of the year, but it takes as long as it takes,” he said.

He expressed frustration with the Maui County Charter’s deadline for council review and reminded council members that there’s still six Maui island regional plans and a Kahoolawe plan waiting to be updated.

The charter’s deadline for council action on community plans makes them “very difficult to do,” Spence said.

Last year, council members approved an updated Lanai Community Plan, but that revision came seven months beyond the one-year deadline.

In October, Mayor Alan Arakawa directed the Planning Department to suspend work on upcoming Maui island community plans and work instead on revamping the county’s long-range planning process.

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