Wai'anae Plan at the City Planning Commission

Posted by Shelley at Mar 10, 2011 05:40 PM |
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Mahalo nui to all those who came out to support a sustainable future for Wai'anae! Couldn't make it? Mai hopohopo (don't worry) there will be another public hearing in April, stay tuned for details!

Wow, time is just flying by--it's already been 3 weeks since the City Planning Commission hearing on the Wai`anae Sustainable Communities Plan (WSCP). The meeting started a little late, around 1:30 and ran until nearly 6pm. Going into the hearing one of our strategies was to have so much testimony that the Commission would have to hold another hearing so more people would get a chance to speak--and it worked! So, if you weren't able to make it on February 16th, please come on down for the next hearing in April, date to be determined. Be forewarned that they are strict on the 3 minute time limit! Group shot after Planning Comm. on WSCP

There are a few items of contention in the plan, but the one we're focusing on is the "Purple Spot"--which is a proposed industrial zoning (purple on the map) in the back of Lualualei Valley--right outside the Navy Gate. The surrounding area is zoned for agriculture and the community is concerned about the loss of farmable land. There is a proposal right now from Tropic Land, LLC to convert this parcel into a light industrial park. In order for their project to move forward it must be consistent with the WSCP. The current version of the plan asks that industrial uses be focused along Farrington Highway--yet, the project site is 2.3 miles inland from Farrington. The community is asking that the Purple Spot be removed from the plan before it moves forward.

Here are some of the general themes in the testimony offered:

-There are concerns over the lack of community consensus, or even input on the project. The last public meeting was five years ago, and community members say that the plan that is up for review doesn't reflect the community meetings from so long ago.

-There are concerns over food security in Hawai`i--we can't keep shipping everything in, therefore we need to grow our own food, which is only possible if we have available land.

-There are concerns about traffic; the project EIS expects up to 500 more trucks an hour! The developer will need to get an agreement with the Navy to use their road (on which the property sits), but they don't have such an agreement, and thus Hakimo Road is their legal access. No way Hakimo can handle 500 trucks an hour, really Farrington Highway can't either.

We were happy to have many generations of Wai`anae residents come out in full force last month. Mahalo to the youth from MA`O for spending the day at the hearing--as Aunty Cynthia Rezentes always reminds them, "This plan is YOURS, it is YOUR future." There was also kako`o (support) from friends outside of Wai`anae. One Aunty lent some insight and solidarity from a similar struggle on the North Shore with the Ko`olauloa Sustainable Communities Plan. All in all a good day. I hope more of you can join us in April!

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