Let’s determine Kauai’s future

Anybody digesting the shock waves of TGI front page announcing that there will be a 42 percent-plus increase in flights from Mainland to Lihue in 2018? I don’t know about you, but it’s causing me heartburn. As if the Kapaa traffic isn’t horrific now, can you imagine 42 percent additional rental cars clogging up the whole island?

Although the article acknowledges that we are about to reach the tipping point on this tiny island, no solution has been put forth. This also means not only will water, landfill, sewage and roads be over-stressed, but also our parks, trails and beaches will be challenged beyond their capacity.

Read Larry Arruda’s strong response to this dilemma: Aug. 31 TGI, “Say no to growth, stop this madness.” Please take it to the County Council hearing, Larry.

This is a wake-up call for all residents who love Kauai to get involved. There is a huge opportunity this Wednesday, Sept. 6, at the first County Council hearing for the General Plan.

We will have the opportunity to stand up and testify about the inadequacy of the General Plan that will determine our future for the next 20 years.

Important issues that have been ignored or minimized and don’t have any teeth (implementation) need our input right now. Come and speak from your own experience about traffic, the desecration of Kauai’s natural environment, e.g. coral reef/watersheds, need for more affordable housing, overpopulation growth, as well as excessive tourist impact on all infrastructure and public health.

Also, stop up-zoning our agricultural land to urban, or equivalent, as the recent deliberation of the Planning Commission did when they up-zoned acreage in Kapaa, Eleele, Princeville and Poipu for expensive housing. We need agriculture land for food, not to grow subdivisions. Let’s champion sustainability!

Friends, this is the last opportunity we have to address those and more issues, which have been railroaded through the Planning Department and Commission, largely ignoring the will of residents who have testified over the last year and a half.

The good news it that we have an opportunity to be not only listened to, but to be heard by the council. But it is up to us to show up and testify either in person, or by email (counciltestimony@kauai.gov) about the General Plan. It’s not acceptable and must be amended.

See you Wednesday at the County Council hearing. Stand up for our precious island!

Google: “County Council General Plan Draft Kauai” to read the updated plan.

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Gabriela Taylor is a resident of Kapaa.

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