Meetings on shoreline and SMA changes set

The Maui News – Proposed changes to special management area permits and the shoreline area designation that account for rising sea levels will be presented to a County Council committee and the Maui Planning Commission.

The council Planning Committee will hear a presentation by the Planning Department on the proposed rule changes at 9 a.m. today in the county building in Wailuku.

A workshop for the Maui Planning Commission will be held during its Tuesday meeting, which starts at 9 a.m., in the Planning Conference Room in Kalana Pakui next to the county building.

The meetings offer an opportunity for the public to learn about and to give input on the department’s proposals. The changes are recommended by a staff team that has been working for years to streamline the SMA process and to respond to climate change and sea-level rise, the news release said.

“The proposed changes to the SMA rules will simplify the review and permitting process, and they aim to reduce the number of SMA assessments that the department must do every year,” Mayor Alan Arakawa said. “The shoreline rule changes will factor in sea-level rise in our shoreline planning, which absolutely needs to be done.”

After these meetings and additional outreach, the department will finalize the rules and present them to the Maui Planning Commission, which will hold a public hearing. If approved by the commission, the measure requires the mayor’s signature to take effect.

“We have received a lot of valuable input from the meetings that we have held to date,” said Planning Director Michele McLean. “After these additional presentations, we will make revisions to both sets of rules, and then we hope to schedule these for the commission to adopt before the end of the year.”

The draft rules may be found at www.mauicounty .gov/121/Planning-Department. Scroll down to “Hot Topics” and click on “Proposed Amendments to Maui SMA Rules” and “Proposed Amendments to Maui Shoreline Rules.”

For more information, contact the department by phone at 270-7735 or by email at planning@mauicounty.gov.

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