The Kihei Community Association is requesting that the present version of the Maui Island Plan's "Implementation Program" be amended by the Maui County Council to include some of the deleted General Plan Advisory Committee recommendations that were based on the testimony from hundreds of Maui residents and most community associations during dozens of public meetings.
Unfortunately, the GPAC recommendations were deleted from the planning director's recommended "Implementation Program," which formed the basis for the council Planning Committee's transmittal to the full council.
As an all-volunteer association, members of the KCA board of directors feel an action of this nature is detrimental to community initiative, which implies that volunteer efforts of this magnitude are meaningless to our county government.
The most important of the deleted GPAC proposals are summarized below. They should be reinserted into the "Implementation Program" because they will help to better implement the Maui Island Plan's policies that the council has already adopted.
* The South Maui community plan district should have its own permanent community district planning advisory committee. Hana has such an advisory board, and Molokai and Lanai have their own planning commissions.
* There is a need for neutral environmental reviews. Proposals to change land uses are often prepared by a consultant hired and paid for by a developer, offering the impression the consultants may owe their allegiance to the developer and not to the community. Therefore, environmental assessment and environmental impact statement documents should be prepared by a consultant selected by and under the direction of the Planning Department. That consultant should be paid by the developer.
* The relevance of old documents needs to be determined. Often, county commissions and the County Council will be asked to make decisions based on information contained in documents prepared many years earlier. For example, a redevelopment is again going before the planning commission with some permits, including traffic study, over a decade old. It is the KCA's stance that all studies and documents completed more than five years prior to an application should be considered out of date unless the decision-making body affirms by a positive vote that the document is timely and relevant.
Public testimony before the GPAC was strongly in favor of this recommendation. The recent Turtle Bay Supreme Court decision established the need for updated and timely documents.
* All future community plan and zoning entitlements should have a fixed time limit, and violation of these limits would void such entitlements. This will discourage land banking, provide for more stable employment opportunities and ensure smooth planning.
* Revenues needed to satisfy the infrastructure requirements of the Maui Island Plan. Because of the great expense to implement the needed infrastructure for new developments, impact fees need to be assessed in future developments. For example, because new housing, visitor units or commercial space along Piilani and Honopiilani highways create additional police, fire, wastewater, solid waste and/or traffic control requirements, proportional impact fees are needed to fund state and county projects.
* Mary Trotto is a member of the Kihei Community Association board of directors.