Wai'anae Farmland Saved!

Posted by marti@kahea.org at Apr 21, 2011 08:45 PM |
Land Use Commission rejected Tropic Land's industrial park proposed for farmland in Lualualei Valley.
Wai'anae Farmland Saved!

Stop the Purple Spot!

"This is a tremendous victory for the farmers and for all of Wai`anae. Not only have we saved this farmland, but we have helped to protect neighboring farms and uphold the integrity of Honolulu’s agricultural districts.”
-- Alice Greenwood, spokesperson for the Concerned Elders

"We are the end of the road, literally. We will fight the hardest, because we cannot lose agricultural lands. We will not give up one more inch." -- Georgette Meyer.

After more than eight months of testimony and exhibits and motions before the Hawaii Land Use Commission (LUC), the Concerned Elders -- and KAHEA -- got the victory we have been longing for!  The Tropic Land, LLC petition for a boundary amendment to allow an industrial park on fertile farmland was DENIED today, April 21, 2011. This means that 92-acres of fertile farmland threatened by industrialization, will remain in agriculture.

You can learn more about this effort to protect agricultural lands here, and read the full press release here.

The developer recognized that Commissioners had concerns about the proposed industrial park, especially whether they had access to use the Navy-owned road to leads to the property site.  So in a last minute hail-mary, the Petitioner told the Commission that the Navy was now considering dedicating the land to the City.  Interestingly, the City's attorney did not know about the proposed dedication.

The Elders reminded the Commission that for six years the Navy and the City negotiated over dedicating the Lualualei Naval Access Road, which did not result in any change in the ownership or use of the road.  The question of proper access to the property is something Tropic Land should have figured out long before proposing a permanent change in the land use designation of their property.

The Commission was not sure how to respond to this new "representation" by the developer and went into executive session to discuss their legal rights and duties as a Commission.  After a few minutes, they returned to their seats and took the vote.  Commissioner Kanuha, in probably one of his last Commission hearings, proposed a motion to approve the petition with conditions.  Several of the Commissioners were not satisfied with the conditions.  Ultimately, after lots of discussions, several commissioners voted against the motion and the petition was denied.

ainalaniThis means, for now, the land stays in agriculture. It is possible in the next month or so for the developer to file a motion to ask the Commissioners to reconsider their vote, which will mean another around of public hearings and debate.  We will let people know if that happens.

Mahalo pumehana to all who gave so generously -- of their time, mana, mana'o, expertise and financial support -- to make this outcome possible.

In the meantime, the Concerned Elders are working to ensure that the proposed revisions to the principle planning document for the Wai`anae Moku -- the Wai`anae Sustainable Community Plan -- does not include the purple spot over the Tropic Land property.  If that purple spot is approved by the City Council, then the developers can return in a year with the same proposal to industrialize this area.  The Planning Commission is expected to announce its recommendation on the plan some time in May.

This means we continue to need as many petition signatures as possible! You can express your solidarity for saving O'ahu farmland by signing the petition today! http://bit.ly/purplespotpetition

The Concerned Elders are also considering the opportunity to purchase the land outright and hold it in trust for agriculture on the flat area and conservation on the upland area.  Join our campaign network to get involved!

Document Actions
Maria S. says:
Apr 22, 2011 11:04 PM
Our Moolelo of Demigod MAUI & Pu'u Haleakla LIVES ON and Truly is
Ritxard says:
Apr 25, 2011 08:11 PM
God bless you Marti, Kahea and Concerned Elders for holding to your community's and your ancestors' values. Now let's get ready for what happens in a year, when Uncle Tom tries to re-start, with a group of bought-out commissioners.
Add comment

You can add a comment by filling out the form below. Plain text formatting. Web and email addresses are transformed into clickable links. Comments are moderated.


Empower grassroots efforts to protect Hawaiʻi with your donation today.

E-mail Sign-up
Follow Us