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T O P I C    R E V I E W
ironyak Posted - 02/10/2015 : 08:41:43
This means you kalakoa (and everyone else :)

Excerpt: More at link below

It’s the document that dictates what can be developed where.

It governs population density, urban design, infrastructure improvements, public access and preservation of natural resources and open spaces. The General Plan is the policy document for the long-range comprehensive development of Hawaii Island.

Last updated in February 2005, it was scheduled to have a new update completed by this month. That’s not going to happen.

Instead, a process that kicked off Friday will solicit public comments until June 6. Then the planning director has until April 2017 to review the public comments and prepare recommended amendments. Public workshops will be held that summer, and then public hearings until the plan is adopted by the County Council in February 2018.

Planning Director Duane Kanuha, addressing the County Council Planning Committee in April, said a combination of factors caused the plan amendment process to slip off the drawing board. First, the department, under the previous director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, was busy creating Community Development Plans to allow more community input into the planning process. That pulled staff off the General Plan during the recessionary years when furloughs and position freezes led to staff shortages.

“Once you have the Community Development Plans adopted … then the General Plan becomes a linkage that keeps the Community Development Plans together,” Kanuha said at the time. “I don’t see there’s a need to integrate any policy plans.” Kanuha didn’t return calls Friday or Monday for additional comment.

The county currently has five CDPs — Kona, South Kohala, North Kohala, Puna and Downtown Hilo — and two more — Ka‘u and Hamakua — in the works. Hamakua Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter said she can accept the delay in the General Plan because the creation of CDPs has really helped the communities.

- See more at: http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/public-comment-sought-general-plan#sthash.cL08g465.dpuf
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
kalakoa Posted - 03/28/2015 : 07:22:37
That blind eye may indeed be the Counties way of providing flexibility. It also extends into land use regulations

This "flexibility" could be revoked at any time and for any reason, at which point there is no recourse due to the "illegal" structures or land-use.

exempt given agricultural structures from the permit process

Only where those structures are not used for habitation.
pbmaise Posted - 03/28/2015 : 00:01:30
After living in the Philippines two years one thing I have come to understand is the lament in the song about a little grass shack.

You wouldn't believe how incredible a little grass shack made from bamboo and nape palm leaves can be.

At night I see them lit by a single candle.

The carbon footprint of my behemoth house with pool, hot tub, tiled walls, sheet rock, cement patios etc etc is likely 200-500 times that of a grass shack.

Permitting people to live closer to that ideal little grass shack would be nice

My home even has glass windows and Corian countertops. Imagine.

Wao nahele kane Posted - 03/14/2015 : 18:19:46
Yes - That blind eye may indeed be the Counties way of providing flexibility. It also extends into land use regulations also, which is extremely unusual. Unpermitted builds exist across the nation to some degree or another in given areas but unpermitted land use situations are typically frowned upon and not usually ignored. That is fairly unique to this area.

The county might be able to utilize land use regulations to create an exemption for owner builder permits on SF structures in this area while mandating contractor build sf structures not to be exempt from the permit process unless the owner waves the protection.

Unfortunately the State left it up to the individual counties to either adopt or not adopt building codes but if they adopted them, they were instructed to make all builds subject to the permit process. In order to untie the Counties hands, the State would need to enter an optional exemption for this region. That being said, I know they use the land use regulations to exempt given agricultural structures from the permit process.

We'd probably need to petition the State to restructure that portion of the State law to untie the Counties hands for this region. That's the culprit behind the inflexible codes applied to this region. I'd have to dig back through the State of Hawaii revised statutes to cite the exact HRS that's the "elephant in the room".
kalakoa Posted - 03/14/2015 : 10:17:56
hope that the latest lava threat and damage has taken a foothold into the minds of those creating plans for this area.

It has: new development in LZ1/LZ2 has ceased.

It's going to take some creative out of the box thinking to address this region properly.

As I've suggested on various occasions: "first-world" development standards are not appropriate for lower Puna. Unfortunately, that's what we have; the Powers That Be are (somehow) only able to apply a One-Size-Fits-All standard. That they meanwhile turn a blind eye towards the rampant unpermittedness strongly suggests a hidden agenda.

the fuel tax lawsuit and the fed to state to county to PCDP process to free up those funds

If I recall correctly, the requirement was only to "create a plan" that included "community input", but without any stipulation that the plan actually be followed, such that the actual planning "process" creates pointless busywork with the illusion of participation.

The resulting PCDP calls out a laundry list of issues that are already well-known, then suggests that we create "designated commercial centers" in exactly the places where these already exist. It's not so much a "plan" as it is an "inventory".
ironyak Posted - 03/14/2015 : 05:46:14
Kane - you've clearly put a lot of time and thought into these posts. Unfortunately many of these good ideas are predicated on the notion that the county has any interest in providing services or supporting growth in Puna.

They have shown in a variety of subtle and not so subtle ways that they wish to continue the tax-mine principle that founded most of the Puna subdivisions. Lack of useful zoning and "Drive to Hilo" continues this policy by limiting growth in Puna and offsets any support cost for commuting to the State, which only improves the highway when forced.

Rob, do you have any articles, links, etc about the fuel tax lawsuit and the fed to state to county to PCDP process to free up those funds and supposedly direct the development process? I understand the broad strokes of what happened but would be interested in more of the details.

All this said, I've been intrigued by the actions of this Planning Commission as they appear to bucking the policy. Whether this is because some key members reside in Puna and actually care or if it's just some part in the larger interests by the county is unclear, but it doesn't appear to be business as usual IMO.
Wao nahele kane Posted - 03/13/2015 : 19:27:11
All we can do is hope that the latest lava threat and damage has taken a foothold into the minds of those creating plans for this area.
It's going to take some creative out of the box thinking to address this region properly. Simply ignoring the issue in hopes no-one will move here won't work and will only exacerbate future problems.
Simple things such as a full coastal route between Hilo and Kalapana places a main route furthest from the reach of Kilauea caldera activity while still upon its slopes. Inundation of the beach road occurring from an origin position Makai 130 upon the rift still leaves 130 as a full alternative route. Where flows that inundate 130 originating mauka 130 upon the rift still leave a coastal route as a viable alternate unless both are inundated at the same time which is probably least frequent a likelihood than all the other probabilities possible but why a port should be created just in case.

I read the PCDP and I see sections of the old beach road penned in as a hiking trail? I'm sorry but that line of thinking is simply ignoring this regions future needs and replacing them with dreams, dreams that WILL ultimately prove harmful to the future community should they be adopted. 130 will be inundated everywhere as will railroad and the beach road, but the likelihood of all three being inundated at the same time will occur far less frequently than just one or two being inundated at a time. The closer to the ocean down the rift a flow begins the less likely it is to cause a full cut off of the region when a coastal route compliments 130.

As per the zoning is concerned. Specialty zones could be assigned to almost all AG 3 and select areas of Ag 1 and select areas of smaller parcel zone areas within and South of the basin. These could allow for an XYZ service to be allowed without additional special zoning requirements if no other XYZ services are within x miles of the cited project. XYZ for example, a convenience grocer, dual pump gas station with approved above ground tanks (like a 7-11 with a double gas pump). Small restaurants could be allowed on the coast with a cap on capacity every x miles. Promoting small business to spring forth would be helpful. The current agricultural restriction shouldn't be applied to this region as it's far too much agriculture area and not enough with regard to local community public services. Jumping the hurdles to get special zoning for small convenience stores or an enclosed small restaurant, etc. isn't helping things. We need more local services as to stop relying so heavily on single location box type market areas that can be inundated at any time - leaving the region without any such services. Expanding zoning uses accompanied by simplifying building codes to bare minimum standards through the zoning regulations and adopting above ground fuel storage tanks etc. would help to make this area less susceptible to any single lava flow event that would otherwise cause major problems community wide. A great deal more flexibility is necessary in this region if the State and County don't want to lose many more millions in the future regarding lava flows.

This region will never represent a typical community and should not be restricted to the common standard model. It cannot be done as long as lava flows from Kilauea and expecting it to meld into a typical community mold is neither reasonable or intelligent.

Wao nahele kane Posted - 03/13/2015 : 18:10:23
I agree.
kalakoa Posted - 03/13/2015 : 17:58:46
an occupation of that which has already been designated

The "problem" is not the subdivisions per se, but the need for services as those subdivisions approach 100% occupancy, and the existing land-use designations effectively leave nowhere for those services to be built.

If Puna is destined to remain a bedroom community forever, it will need many more lane-miles of road to Drive To Hilo For Everything.

If Puna is going to actually develop into a "real" place, it will need some appropriately zoned land, possibly with additional lane-miles of access road.

The "sprawl" has already happened. I often run errands in two or more parts of "Greater Keaau" (Transfer Station, New Commercial, Industrial Park, and Old Town), and each is effectively a separate trip up and down the highway -- almost as if they're isolated little downs, all developed independently.

Why isn't this (small heliport) in the PCDP?

Because Shipman doesn't own a tour helicopter company?
Wao nahele kane Posted - 03/13/2015 : 12:56:02
Along with a port should be a small airport one that can ALSO handle tourist helicopters. Then the tour birds can take up residence there and fly tourist a short distance to sight see the volcano and stay out of the skies above our populated neighborhoods. This not only provides for an air emergency services location it saves the tour birds added fuel cost and provides for a quieter Puna.

One possible location for tour birds could be just South of Malama market where they are clearing all that land back there (assuming the owner would lease or part with it for that use) next to the market. From there they can fly on up to Pu'u O'o and around it etc.

Why isn't this in the PCDP?
Wao nahele kane Posted - 03/13/2015 : 12:27:47
Lets consider a worst case scenario within the realm of reasonable possibility.
Let's assume everything from just North of Pahoa down to just North the Beaches becomes inundated heavily and the region south is cut off.
Yes, there is the COCR connection in progress but the question arises - why not a small emergency services port? Large enough to handle barges during emergency and obviously for pleasure craft launching and while at it broad enough to launch fishing boats regularly? This scenario should be applied within the PCDP and a couple locations should be selected and noted for serious consideration. This should be an inland excavated port because the offshore drop is far too great to establish a piled rock jetty type port. Kapoho is an excellent strategic location because if it's inundated the surrounding areas aren't cut off by such a flow and still retain access to Hilo as usual.

Why isn't this in the PCDP proposal?

Wao nahele kane Posted - 03/13/2015 : 11:59:52
Planning in the aforementioned method serves not only to reduce loss. It also serves to automatically fulfill public need in a time of crisis and affords the fueling station owner a substantial reduction in financial loss due to inundation or threat of inundation allowing them to continue business as usual after a substantially lower cost move assuming it even needs to move. The station owner is also afforded greater flexibility in their need to act as we saw in the case of the propane station near the Malama market location. This also reduces the added demands placed upon emergency services during such crisis by reducing demands upon logistic considerations.

There are many more like type things that should be in the PCDP.
Wao nahele kane Posted - 03/13/2015 : 11:33:13
As an example regarding an applied dynamic for this region, lets consider fueling stations and their current immobility. In the following link we see that fuel tanks can be made mobile for stationary application and actually provide additional benefits in being designed as such.

This is something that should be outlined in the PCDP with regard to the allowed fueling station types in this region accompanied by a required designated backup location in case of primary location inundation. Dynamic planning.
Wao nahele kane Posted - 03/13/2015 : 10:32:53
Anything in Puna within and South of the Basin to Volcanoes National Park.

I'm curious as to why the PCDP assumes heavy development and sprawl will occur throughout this region and it must be managed as proposed. I find that such concerns are valid in the majority of near urban zones about the United States but such consideration within the shadows of one of the most active volcanos in world approaches a certain disregard for reality.

I would add that the growth in this region of Puna is not accompanied by newly established subdivisions but rather an occupation of that which has already been designated. In this case, there has been little to no previously undesignated area sprawl. Nor will there be due to the presence of Kilauea's activity. This again is like no other circumstances experienced by other planning efforts in the USA.

I see the PCDP as a gallant effort and well thought out North of the Basin but within the basin and South of it there is a disconnect from it's dynamic nature and certain absence in foresight to these dynamics and the situations that will be encountered.

I'd like to see that which is addressed within the Basin and South of it "re-visited" with dynamic consideration applied. No designated park will prove itself of intended value when inundated by lava. I would like to see the permanence standards devolved into acceptance of mobility and other flexibilities accompanied by a broader range of necessary options. These dynamics should be inclusive of a wider range in ingress/egress options as well as dwelling and commercial building practices. Special zoning allowances can be applied to a region that is exposed to higher incidents of unique natural hazards and the PCDP should call for and apply these dynamic needs.
pbmaise Posted - 03/02/2015 : 01:13:59
It is the break neck speed of this plan that concerns me the most. Just updated in 2005 and implementation as soon as Feb 2018?

Here are the links to the plan. The document is almost 400 pages long. I encourage people to review and make public comments.

First comment should be why it takes 10 months to review public comment?


kalakoa Posted - 02/12/2015 : 07:43:55
"No direct highway access" is spelled out in the PCDP as it pertains to "commercial center" development.

Highway access is also subject to permits from HDOT because it's a State highway.

Agree that HDOT has an "Oahu-centric" worldview; it's one of the reasons that Pearl Bakery gave up the fight -- Hilo HDOT said their driveway was just fine, Oahu HDOT had a list of changes that were unrealistic and unnecessary.

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