The making of a (general) plan

LIHUE — The number of residents concerned about Kauai’s General Plan has prompted the county to relocate the discussion to a larger facility.

The Kauai County Council will hold the Wednesday, Oct. 4, Council Meeting at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall beginning at 8:30 a.m.

“They will be there to listen to the public,” said Anne Walton, retired professional planner and member of Community Coalition Kauai. “We’re definitely encouraging as many people to show up as possible and express their views on the General Plan update.”

The reason for relocation of the meeting is to accommodate the potentially large turnout to the public hearing on Bill No. 2666, relating to the update of the county’s General Plan.

It was standing room only at the Sept. 6 council meeting when the bill was heard on first reading, with more than 40 people testifying before the council.

“We recognize that it is important for members of the public to be able to make their voice heard,” said council chair Mel Rapozo. “Moving the council meeting to a larger facility will help to ensure that the public will have adequate space to view the proceedings as well as testify.”

All interested persons who wish to present their comments may do so at the public hearing. Written testimony may be submitted to the Office of the County Clerk, Council Services Division by mail, facsimile, or via e-mail to counciltestimony@kauai.gov.

“I think the more people that express interest in issues, the more in-depth look they’ll take at the plan,” Walton said. “It will set them off in the direction of looking deeply into those areas of concern.”

One of the county’s biggest issues is how to plan for growth, accounting for the increasing natural population of residents, as well as migration and tourist numbers, which all drive development of the island.

“There are a lot of issues that surround it,” Walton said. “Our economy is very dependant on tourism, and our life and livelihood depends on affordable housing, adequate infrastructure, transportation and proper management of resources. So all of the components of the plan are important and intertwined.”

With more than 500 plans of action included in the document, five times as many as when the General Plan was created in 2000, some are concerned the actions were never implemented from the previous document.

“The narrative on what the issues are and the complexity of the issues is actually quite good, it’s very impressive,” Walton said. “But then getting down to actually addressing those issues around each of the different sectors of the plan is a little overwhelming.”

“It needs to be an integrated document,” Walton added, “but some of the basic pieces are missing, like a framework or blueprint for growth.”

Copies of the proposed bill and all other agenda items are available at the Office of the County Clerk, Council Services Division and posted on the county’s website.

Due to limited resources at convention hall, members of the public should submit written testimony in advance or prepare at least 10 copies to be distributed to council members and council staff at the public hearing.

For those who cannot attend, the meeting will be available on the county’s website for archived viewing after the meeting has ended, as well as televised on Ho‘ike Channel 53.

To view the Oct. 4 Council Meeting agenda, visit http://tinyurl.com/y9zbfkeo.

For more information, contact the Office of the County Clerk, at 241-4188.

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