Published in The Maui News on January 25, 2015
By DON COUCH, for The Maui News
On Wednesday, the Maui County Council’s Planning Committee will hold a public meeting and site inspections on the island of Lanai for the Lanai Community Plan update.
On Jan. 15, the committee initially reviewed two versions of the Lanai Community Plan, also known as the Lanai Island Plan, submitted by the Lanai Planning Commission and the Lanai Community Plan Advisory Committee. Recommendations from the Department of Planning are also being considered.
Committee members will meet at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday by Milepost 10 of Manele Road to view the site of the proposed “Manele Mauka” community near the Manele Bay Resort and Hulopoe Bay. The Lanai Planning Commission’s draft plan proposes a 105-acre development to include single-family, multifamily and senior housing, commercial space, 20 acres of neighborhood parks and a community center.
At 2:15 p.m., the committee will meet at Kaumalapau Road, 1.6 miles makai of the Lanai landfill, to view sites proposed for 10 acres of heavy industrial use and 50 acres for residential use. The committee will then move to an area along Keomuku Road near the Lodge at Koele to examine the site of the proposed “Lanai City expansion,” including 546 acres of mixed-use residential development, a 524-acre university, a 50-acre tennis academy and 291 acres of parks and open space.
At 5 p.m., the committee will assemble at the Lanai Community Center for testimony and discussion. It’s important to hear from Lanai residents on their community’s future.
The new Lanai Community Plan will guide the island’s development over a 20-year period. The existing plan was approved in 1998.
Officials at the Jan. 15 committee meeting said Lanai’s population would double, from about 3,000 to 6,000, in the next two decades. More than 2,500 acres in five areas are considered for future development to address this growth.
Lanai’s growth must consider rural and small-town street design standards and address residential workforce housing, education, environmental protection and cultural preservation. The plan may also evaluate partnerships with the island’s dominant landowner, Pulama Lana’i, and its stated vision of sustainability.
I urge members of the Lanai community to join us on Wednesday to share insights on how we can diversify employment opportunities and other issues. If you live on the island, please share your thoughts about water supply, costs of energy and goods, transportation and safety issues and health and social-service options over the 20-year planning horizon.
Copies of the agendas, maps and related documents are available at mauicounty.us/lanaicommunityplan. Testimony is accepted at all meeting and site inspection locations, as well as via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lanai Community Plan is the first community plan to be updated under the county’s new review process, as established in Chapter 2.80B of the Maui County Code. Next in line is Molokai, followed by the six Maui community plan areas and Kahoolawe.
* Don Couch holds the council seat for the South Maui residency area. He is chairman of the Planning Committee. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters. Visit mauicounty.us for more information.