Mayoral candidates discuss resort development at forum

LIHU’E – The two mayoral candidates know from experience that there exists on this island an ample supply of resort-zoned land.

In some cases, they voted to establish resort zoning.

So, both County Council Chair Ron Kouchi and Vice Chair Bryan Baptiste have definite opinions about the need, or lack thereof, of establishing more new resort zoning on the island.

For Baptiste, getting existing infrastructure up to speed, utilizing federal and state funds for roadway projects especially in the Kapa’a area, is a must.

The Eastside needs new feeder roads to connect Kuhio Highway with the Kapa’a bypass road, to give drivers a real option to highway driving, said Baptiste.

As mayor, he will work to get new federal funds designated for areas of specific need, like traffic congestion, he told a crowd at the Kauai Veterans Center Tuesday night.

Kouchi said existing resort-zoned lands stand vacant on the North Shore, Eastside and South Shore, and it is imperative that developers care for the island.

Further, the next mayor needs “the ability to say ‘no’ to more resort development,” said Kouchi. The community is looking for a leader who will stand beside them against improper developments, Kouchi concluded.

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