A Maui County Council committee hopes by early next week to complete final revisions to maps that will guide future growth and development on the island over the next two decades.
After meeting on the plans four days this week, General Plan Committee Chairwoman Gladys Baisa strongly urged committee members to work through two more full days Monday and Wednesday to finish deliberations.
The council is working toward a Dec. 31 deadline -- which was extended three times in as many years -- to complete the Maui Island Plan.
"If we do not complete our work, we are going to really mess up our timetable, and it'll be highly unlikely that we can complete our work this year," she said at Thursday's meeting. "We've all worked very, very hard to get to this point. We do want to wrap this up this year so that everybody that is waiting for the new Maui Island Plan will be able to plan and go ahead."
Before recessing the meeting until 9 a.m. Monday, committee members agreed Thursday to remove green beltways and scenic corridors from the proposed maps, which will become regulatory once the plan is enacted.
Council Member Mike White had pushed for two green beltways that would create buffers along highways in Upcountry and West Maui in an effort to preserve open space.
The designation would prohibit development in those buffer zones, which raised legal concerns over potential lawsuits from existing landowners.
The committee had previously voted to include the corridors on the maps, while White's proposal of a third beltway to run from Huelo through Hana to Ulupalakua never gained enough support.
White made a motion Thursday to essentially limit the maps to only "directed growth boundaries," meaning the beltways, parks and sensitive land designations would be removed.
White said it was a tough decision, but that the council doesn't have the authority to enforce those other designations through the general plan maps.
"I feel strongly that there are a lot of things that we've got to protect," White said. "But I've surrendered to the legal minds and others that feel that there is a process that we must follow and there are building blocks that we need to put into place before we can move ahead with the kinds of moves that I feel are important for us to preserve our scenic corridors."
He said afterward that he intends to propose legislation to create those "building blocks."
For more on this story, see the Saturday issue of The Maui News.