Lihu‘e Business Assoc. opens new year

The Lihu‘e Town Core Urban Design Plan is nearing completion and interest in the development and vitality of Lihu‘e as a town grows.

This has led to many people in the community stepping up and taking part in the Lihu‘e Business Association which held its first board meeting of the year Feb. 20 at the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce conference room.

Pat Griffin, the board’s president, officiated over the meeting that established its goals for the coming year.

The role of the LBA in the Lihu‘e District is to enhance regional business objectives, provide a mechanism for networking, play an active role in “master planning,” assist in evolving community development and provide a voice to government at the county, state and federal levels, states a press release from LBA.

LBA welcomes anyone interested in benefitting business in the Lihu‘e District, bounded by the Wailua River on the east and the Tree Tunnel on the west.

Formed during the disruptions caused by the roadwork on Rice Street by Curtis Tom of the Bank of Hawai‘i, the group worked to convince the county of the need to begin a Lihu‘e Town Core development plan update. This is also known as the Urban Design Plan.

Several of the LBA members served on the plan’s Community Advisory Committee, including Griffin, Neil Clendeninn, Palmer Hafdahl and Laurie Ho, labeling themselves “the Lihu‘e Hui.”

The group met informally at the Border’s cafe with other members joining the group gradually.

Last year, LBA began a public awareness series of meetings to consider the impact of transportation to, from and around the island.

On one of the well-attended sessions, the state of Hawai‘i’s deputy directors of harbors and airports addressed the group. Other presenters included officials responsible for state and local roads as well as for the operations of the Kaua‘i Bus.

The 2007 Board members include Griffin, Hafdahl, vice president, Clendeninn, secretary, Robert Goldberg, Derek Kawakami, Daniel Kawamura, Wade Lord, Jim Mayfield, Clyde Nakata, Chuck Ramsey and Janie Whitehead.

Ex-officio members include Laurie Yoshida, Ho, Randall Francisco and a representative of Grove Farm/Lihu‘e Land.

“The Scale of Retail” is the topic discussed at the next LBA membership meeting will be held on March 22 at Duke’s Canoe Club from 7:30 to 9 a.m.

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