Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023 |
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• All ag land is important • Preventing
us from knowing • Embarrassing
All ag land is important
OK, finally I can say I’ve heard it all! The “Stakeholder Committee” has decided there are eight criteria to designate important Agricultural Lands on Kaua‘i. In their highly questionable wisdom they’ve chosen these eight criteria to identify the land we need to protect for Agriculture as: currently in agriculture, of good soil quality, identified by Agricultural Lands of Importance to the State of Hawaii or Land Study Bureau, having Native Hawaiian or unique crops, having sufficient water, being consistent with county plans, contributing to critical land mass, and having access to infrastructure and markets. Are you laughing yet?
There isn’t a semi talented developer in the world or a land owner who graduated from high school that couldn’t eye a piece of land to re-zone for development that couldn’t legally challenge at least one of the scores assigned to a criteria in court and sue to be able to develop any where they want. The dolts on the “Stakeholder Committee” can not possibly be serious about using this kind of system to designate these lands. This is not about growing crops. This is about development and protecting Kaua‘i from becoming another Oahu or Maui, where carving up the natural landscape with heavy equipment and putting up houses surrounded by concrete is king and money is more important than beauty.
There is a General Plan that was enacted many years ago and it should be the Bible of Kaua‘i County. Every piece of land outside of a current town or city limit on Kaua‘i should be designated as important, and developers should not have one chance in a million of developing it. Enough is enough and unless you want to build a four lane highway around this Island, development in any area outside of a current contiguous populated area should be permanently terminated. Agriculture can occur anywhere on this Island, even in the dry and arid climate of the west side. When people are starving every square foot of land is important for agriculture. Just ask the Israelis who turned the desert into a green oasis of Agriculture. Or the farmers in Arizona and Nevada who have done likewise.
Forget about this nonsense of land designation because of potential “Agriculture” use and call a spade a spade. Where land has already been developed in less than one acre plots increase the density and build whatever the Planning Department approves. Where the density is currently one home for more than one acre stop development period. Kaua‘i is what it is because it’s perhaps the most beautiful place on earth. Keep it that way, or lose that designation forever!
Gordon Oswald, Kapa‘a
Preventing us from knowing
A resolution that would create easy access to County Council agendas and supporting documentation on the county website was introduced by Tim Bynum and was voted on being deferred until December by all the present council except Bynum and Lani Kawahara. This resolution would have enacted procedures commonplace in municipalities across the country.
Using the petition process provided by council rule No. 9 we wrote asking the matter be brought up rsvp, discussed and voted on. The petition was signed by 20 and submitted Aug. 24. Over a month passed with no reply.
When I inquired, no reply for another week. I was told by Kaipo Asing at a meet-and-greet the candidates event confidentially that he had received it and it would be taken up in December. He said he would be sending me a full explanation by e-mail. I have yet to receive the e-mail he promised. So petition or no petition the chair has determined we must wait. I’d like to know why bother to have a petition policy if it could so easily be disregarded by the chair.
The council and the mayor have a hard copy of the agenda and documentation by the Thursday before the council meeting of the following Wednesday. It functions for them. What would need to happen to furnish the public with the same information would be to include the documentation with each agenda item when creating the agenda in the first place. In so doing when one got the agenda one would see the related documentation as well. So availing it to the public wouldn?t take much but a procedural change.
The chair and the present council members with the exception of Lani and Tim are being obstructionists, dismissing the right of the public to be as informed as possible. He as well as the others on the council who voted to defer it back in June are hampering the public’s right to participation in the political process. This is when most other governing bodies across the nation have long ago implemented this procedure.
Linda Harmon, Hanapepe
Thank you Carol Bain and Ed Coll for directing our attention in your Oct. 21 letter to the sexist language in the Kaua‘i County Charter.
Such language is an embarrassment to the island and offensive to women and girls. Parents who have daughters should also be concerned. The Charter Commission should be ashamed for its lack of action on this issue.
Linda Estes, Koloa
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