This evening (5/14/14) beginning at 6:00 PM, the County Council held the second and final reading of the ‘”Implementation Program” of the Maui Island Plan . Your Community Association has actively participated in this process since the General Plan Advisory Committee turned over their years long volunteer effort to the County Government to formulate the plan for the future of our island home.
Here is our testimony:
KCA Testimony to County Council (5/14/14) 6:00 PM Regarding the MIP Implementation
The Kihei Community Association (KCA) requests that the present version of the Maui Island Plan’s “Implementation Program” be amended by the Council to include some of the deleted GPAC recommendations which were based on the testimonies from hundreds of Maui residents and most community associations at dozens of public meetings.
Unfortunately, the GPAC recommendations were deleted from the Planning Director’s recommended “Implementation Program” which formed the basis for your Planning Committee’s transmittal to the full Council. As an all-volunteer association, we 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 here. They should be re-inserted into the “Implementation Program” because they will help to better implement the Maui Island Plan’s policies that you have already adopted.
1. South Maui community plan district shall have its own permanent Community District Planning Advisory Committee (Hana already has such an Advisory Board; and Molokai and Lanai even have their own Planning Commissions). We only speak for our district, but expect others may want the same consideration.
2. Need for NeutralEnvironmental 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, EA and EIS documents shall be prepared by a consultant selected by and under the direction of the Planning Department; the consultant shall be paid by the developer making a proposal..
3. Relevance of Old DocumentsVery often the planning commissions, other county commissions, and the County Council will be asked to make decisions based on information contained in documents prepared many years earlier. (For example, we see a redevelopment again going before the planning Commission with some MIS permits, including traffic study, over a decade old. We recommend that the following be included in the “Implementation Program Chapter”.
All studies and documents completed more than five years prior to an application shall be considered “out of date,” unless the decision-making body affirms by a positive vote that the document is still timely and relevant.
Public testimony before GPAC was strongly in favor of this recommendation. The recent Turtle Bay Supreme Court decision established the need for updated and timely documents. The State’s Office of Environmental Control (OEQC) is also in the process of including rules for updating older environmental documents.
4. All future Community Plan and Zoning Entitlementsshall 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. We have approved projects from decades ago with no indication of commencement.
5 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, in Kihei-Makena Community Plan area, because new housing, visitor units, or commercial space along Pi’ilani Highway to Wailea/Makena and along Honopi’ilani Highway create additional police, fire, wastewater, solid waste and/or traffic control requirements, proportional “impact fees” are needed to fund both State and County projects.
On page 10-4 in the next to the last paragraph, change the word “may” to “shall”.
“To ensure that no ambiguities exist regarding infrastructure funding responsibilities, the County may shall establish an infrastructure funding strategy to ensure that infrastructure improvements are implemented prior to or concurrent with development by the responsible party depending on the nature of the infrastructure project.”
The listing of potential revenue sources that was included in the GPAC and Maui Planning Commission recommendations (GPAC Recommendation, Tables 9-1 and 9-2) was deleted in the Planning Director’s recommendation (Table 10-1 on Page 10-6). It would be very helpful to include the two GPAC tables (Tables 9-1 and 9-2) in the implementation program.