Final approval of Molokai Island Community Plan on Dec. 11 agenda

CHAIR'S 3 MINUTES

On Nov. 16, a public hearing, in conjunction with a full County Council meeting, was held at the Kaunakakai Elementary School, where the revisions to the Molokai Island Community Plan were approved.

The meeting on Molokai gave residents another important opportunity to share testimony to help shape the future of their community and address the needs and development of Molokai for the next decade and beyond.

Renamed the Molokai Island Community Plan, the lengthy document incorporates the Maui County General Plan 2030 Countywide Policy Plan’s vision, principles, goals, policies, and core themes, which can be viewed by visiting mauicounty.us/countywide-policy-plan/. Additionally, specific Molokai concerns are emphasized, including traditional Hawaiian farming practices, subsistence fishing, hunting and gathering, and sea level rise issues for low-lying Kaunakakai.

The Molokai Community Plan was last updated in 2001 through Ordinance 3022 (2001), as amended. Each of Maui County’s nine community plans shall, to the extent practicable, be updated within 10 years of the respective plan’s adoption.

To bring the previous Molokai Community Plan to this point, the council’s Planning Committee met 26 times from February 2017 to November 2018. The Molokai Community Plan Advisory Committee also held 22 public hearings between March and October 2015 to review the draft plan.

Members of the Molokai Community Plan Advisory Committee reside on Molokai and are appointed by the mayor and council. Pursuant to the Maui County Code, community plan advisory committees are charged with reviewing and recommending revisions to the plan for their community plan area.

Additionally, the Molokai Planning Commission held eight public meetings to review the draft plan between November 2015 and March 2016. The draft Molokai Island Community Plan was transmitted to the Maui County Council on May 5, 2016, and not addressed until the 2017 council was seated.

Throughout the nearly two-year-long process, the Planning Committee heard from countless concerned citizens by way of testimony and in-person meetings. While there may not always be agreement on all items in a community plan, it is important that the public is able to share personal perspectives and be an integral part of the process. Concerned citizens are encouraged to stay engaged in the process of monitoring and prioritizing implementation actions on an ongoing basis.

The Molokai Island Community Plan began as a single community plan and throughout the process became an island plan encompassing three communities. The planning commission added the East End and West End Policy Statements, which were adopted as separate chapters after much deliberation by the council.

To review the proposed update of the Molokai Island Community Plan and related documents, please visit mauicounty.us/molokaicommunityplan.

The next community plan update will be for the West Maui Community Plan, which was last updated in 1996. The process for the mayor and the council to select members for the West Maui Community Plan Advisory Committee is well underway. To see a schedule of events for the West Maui Plan, visit wearemaui.org.

* Kelly King is chair of the Maui County Council’s Planning Committee. She holds the council seat for the South Maui residency area. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters. Go to mauicounty.us for more information.