Need for community development plans arises

LIHU’E — Linda Fayé Collins, Avery Youn and others are encouraging

every area of the island to come up with their own community development plans

to allow further resident input into how and where land-use changes are

made.

“I’d rather foster the process,” said Collins, president of Kikiaola

Land Company.

Without development plans, developers will tell people what

they want, and with development plans the community can tell would-be

developers what the community wants, said Youn, an architect and former county

planning director.

But Kaua’i Planning Director Dee Crowell worries about

creating another layer of “stuff,” saying that counties like Maui and Honolulu

need community development plans because their general plans don’t include

land-use maps similar to those in the Kaua’i General Plan Discussion

Draft.

GPU Consultant Robin Foster agreed with Crowell when he said

implementing new community development plans isn’t necessarily a good

idea.

Most of the members of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) working

on the Discussion Draft, though, feel the community development plans are

excellent vehicles to allow communities input into the details which will

eventually shape the future of their neighborhoods.

Collins sees the

General Plan as general, with the community development plans dictating how and

where development should take place.

Further, she would like the state

Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism to pay for

development of regional plans.

Amy Awtry said communities want input on

growth issues affecting where they live.

The eighth and final chapter of

the Discussion Draft deals with implementation of the plan, and the section on

community development plans currently suggests “Priorities for the funding and

preparation of Community Development Plans shall be decided by the County

Council, based on the recommendations of the Planning Department and the

Planning Commission.”

In other issues at Tuesday’s CAC meeting, many

advisory committee members still are reluctant to “sign off” on a version of

the General Plan slated to be forwarded to the Planning Commission for further

discussion next month until some more solid data is available on housing needs,

traffic circulation and other matters.

A discussion took place on the

inclusion of language in the draft regarding “big-box” stores being allowed

only in Urban Center-designated areas.

The big-box stores “have done a

number on local businesses,” said Ann Leighton, who added that if she had her

way neither Big Kmart nor Wal-Mart would be in operation on Kaua’i.

Foster

said it might be a problem to include language indicating there will be no

big-box stores allowed on the island.

Herman Paleka said the young people

on the island need places to play, and Louie Abrams, in a discussion about

parks, said the county is acknowledging that they have lots of

“postage-stamp-sized” parks that are expensive to maintain.

There is the

possibility of consolidating those smaller parks into fewer, larger parks which

would be easier to maintain.

Leighton, an avid bicyclist, asked if the

island is going to play into the vision of the automobile as the only mode of

transportation. Further, she is calling for a manned police substation at

Kapa’a, and another sector patrol for the Kawaihau area.

Glenn Mickens, not

a CAC member but a concerned resident, said the car is here to stay, and the

county, state and citizenry have to address road issues.

Don Heacock, also

a concerned member of the public and not a CAC member, said the plan’s vision

for the island’s streams is flawed. “We don’t want to maintain them. We want to

restore them,” he said.

Further, Heacock feels the vision for the island’s

streams is that none should be on the list of quality-impaired bodies as

defined by the state Department of Health.

Crowell expressed concerns for

the timetable regarding forwarding the General Plan draft to the Planning

Commission.

The original timetable was for the CAC to review the

Discussion Draft this month, and forward it to the Commission in time for it to

schedule public hearings on the draft plan in March, Crowell said.

But as

another CAC meeting is planned for either the first or second Tuesday in March

to look at the final draft before it goes to the Commission, the Commission may

not be able to schedule hearings until late March or early April.

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