Amend what is permitted in light industrial zones

The county’s progressive Countywide Policy Plan adopted in 2012 to guide future development calls for smart growth and condemns sprawl. This laudable objective cannot be achieved, however, unless the county (1) abides by our often-ignored community plans, all of which call for development to proceed in concert with infrastructure, and (2) amends our zoning codes.

One zoning code section in particular that demands immediate change is that for light industry. This singular zoning provision is responsible for most of the urban sprawl now underway — because it has been perverted to allow everything imaginable under the sun, to the delight of developers, except heavy industry and hotels. The effect is to allow uncontrollable, chaotic development with resultant degradation of our existing communities and urban centers.

Take a look at what is now happening to Kahului, the commercial and retail center of which is being hollowed out by new retail development in light industrial zones being occupied by multiple big-box retail stores like Safeway, Target, PetCo and Lowe’s.

Mayor Michael Victorino, County Council members, chair of the council’s Planning Committee and Planning Department leaders, please take immediate steps to amend the definition of what is permitted in light industrial zones. Eliminate the pernicious stacking it allows. Strike from permitted uses all those included in business zones 1-3. Don’t wait for a total code overhaul.

Mark Hyde

Kihei

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