For Immediate Release: June 6, 2014
Press Release by:
Councilmember Donald G. Couch, Jr.
Amendments to Maui Island Plan implementation program referred to committee
WAILUKU, Hawaii – Amendments to the Maui Island Plan implementation program proposed by council members were referred to the Planning Committee at the June 6 council meeting, Councilmember Donald G. Couch, Jr. announced today.
“It took years of work and many hours of deliberation by volunteer board members, the council and its committees to finally get the Maui Island Plan fully enacted,” said Couch, who as chair of the Planning Committee presided over four meetings on the implementation program. “I thank the public for their valuable input.”
Couch had proposed to include additional information on potential funding sources for infrastructure improvements in the plan. He also proposed considering changes in legislation relating to the county’s discretion on outdated documents and the role of the planning director in land use applications.
Council Chair Gladys C. Baisa suggested amendments to the time limits on future community plan and zoning entitlements. Councilmember Don S. Guzman suggested the establishment of permanent community plan area advisory committees.
Couch, who was excused today, said he anticipates scheduling the matters in a July committee meeting, and that some of the proposals may be specific to the implementation program, while others may require new legislation.
The implementation program was approved through ordinance 4126, which became effective with the mayor signing Bill 29 (2014) on May 29. The proposed amendments are in response to testimony from residents who sought what they described as restoration of recommendations made by the Maui General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC).
A copy of the ordinance can be viewed online at mauicounty.gov/bill29.
The GPAC, composed of 25 volunteers variously appointed by Mayor Alan Arakawa and the council in 2005, advised the council and the planning director on the Countywide Policy Plan and Maui Island Plan.
“During the GPAC’s review of a draft implementation program, there was no public testimony, and the GPAC didn’t make a formal recommendation on the program,” Couch said. “However, public viewpoints are being strongly considered by council members, which is why amendments have been proposed.”
The implementation program, the final element of the Maui Island Plan, will be used for county strategic planning and sets goals for delivering services and projects. Earlier elements of the Maui Island Plan were adopted by ordinance 4004 in 2012.
Pursuant to the requirements in the Maui County Code, the implementation program includes a capital improvement element, a financial element and an implementation schedule.
Couch noted the Maui Island Plan is one of the major components of the county’s General Plan 2030 project, which commenced more than a decade ago, and follows adoption of the Countywide Policy Plan four years ago. He said: “The island plan should evolve, and it continues to be a work in progress as we consider more input from residents.”
The Lanai and Molokai community plans are the next facets in the ongoing General Plan update.
Couch said the public is invited to subscribe to agenda notifications for the Planning Committee at mauicounty.gov/list. He encourages feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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