Chair’s 3 Minutes by Mike White
Published in The Maui News, December 11, 2016
The County Council meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday — the last of the 2015-17 term — features an array of important policy issues.
For one example, the agenda includes final passage of Bill 115 (2016) to authorize the council’s creation of special improvement districts, by separate ordinances, for specific geographic areas. Committee Report 16-187 provides background:
“Once a special improvement district is created by ordinance, the county may levy and assess a special assessment on property located within the district. The assessment would finance the maintenance and operation of the district and pay the debt service on any bonds issued to finance improvements within the district.”
This concept has proven effective for parts of the City and County of Honolulu, such as Waikiki and Chinatown. In Maui County, Paia has been touted by some as a good location for a special improvement district, but the council will decide that at a later date.
Land use entitlements for Alexander & Baldwin’s Waiale Project District South project are up for final approval in the form of Bills 116, 117 and 118. The mixed-use, master-planned project is located at Kuihelani Highway and East Waiko Road in Waikapu. The council has thus far approved two zoning conditions. The first requires an archaeological monitoring plan for the area to be submitted to the state Historic Preservation Division for review and approval prior to commencement of construction work. The second mandates annual reporting.
The council on Friday also will consider on second reading Bill 119, which would require planning commission members to take a course in Native Hawaiian law, to be funded by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. A bill to restrict the use and sale of polystyrene food service containers in the County of Maui will be heard on first reading.
The current council is planning to refer to the next council, which takes office Jan. 2, a number of policy issues that couldn’t be resolved this term. Among the topics set to move forward are the following:
- Proposals to support housing development by establishing an independent third-party building plan review process, establishing a “one-stop shop” for processing permits and prioritizing county development of off-site infrastructure, such as water, sewer and roadway improvements.
- A bill proposed by the Department of Water Supply to establish a wellhead protection overlay district.
- Bills proposed by Mayor Alan Arakawa to establish criminal penalties for aggressive solicitation, public defecation or urination, lying down on sidewalks, public alcohol consumption and shopping cart theft.
Departing Council Members Don Couch and Mike Victorino will be honored at the meeting.
Victorino has chaired the Water Resources Committee in three different terms. During the current council term, Victorino’s Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee deliberated on numerous potential changes to the County Charter and ultimately proposed five charter amendments, all of which were approved by the electorate.
Couch is a three-term chairman of the Planning Committee, which this term spearheaded adoption of a new Lanai Community Plan and enactment of updates to the County Code on short-term rental homes and transient vacation rentals. His committee has also led passage of ordinances to update the county’s zoning provisions relating to park districts and to allow family child care homes within farm dwellings.
The council on Friday also will recognize Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi for winning the 41st annual Queen Lili’uokalani Keiki Hula Competition. The state champion Lahainaluna Lunas football team will be recognized at a council meeting next month.
* Mike White is chairman of the Maui County Council. He holds the council seat for the Paia-Haiku-Makawao residency area. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters. Go to mauicounty.us for more information.