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Southernmost
Da Kine

264 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2014 :  06:08:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
They(1950's Hawaii county government) also knew that if all the subdivisions filled up(getting there) there would have to be a six lane highway in both upper and lower Puna to accommodate the massive amount of cars. But they still approved it. Ah, we'll build new roads when the traffic gets really, really bad was their theory. Now we all (malahinis, kamaaina, keiki o ka aina)are paying for what a few did just for money. They should be in the Big Island Hall of Shame.
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kalakoa
Motormouth

12431 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2014 :  08:24:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The original lack of planning/infrastructure due to corruption is well documented in books that are now over 20 years old.

My question is: what are we going to do about it? It's pretty clear that County and/or State have no plans to fix the mess they helped make, and the low-income nature of lower Puna communities means there's not enough private money (nor, probably, public money) to retrofit the infrastructure to match its current occupancy.

I used to think part of the solution was "County get out of the way", but the dysfunctional subdivision boards have demonstrated that they are unlikely to do much better, and there are more than enough militant NIMBY groups to make up the difference.

It's pretty clear that choosing to live here means accepting all these limitations forever.

we'll build new roads when the traffic gets really, really bad was their theory

Great theory -- if they had kept up with the past couple of decades, and if the "plan" accounted for sudden loss of roads due to lava flow. Any real "plan" would probably also include a long-term strategy, too, so that people aren't surprised by where the roads eventually get built. Case in point: people along Railroad Ave who suddenly had a highway in their yard -- all those lots should have been reserved as buffer, or zoned CV.
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Southernmost
Da Kine

264 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2014 :  09:07:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Agree with you braddah, and I really don't know what we are going to do. I may be selling in a few years.
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pbmaise
Kamaaina

USA
939 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2014 :  07:21:41  Show Profile  Visit pbmaise's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kalakoa and all

Speaking as a property owner with one of the rare Special Use Permits SUPs so a legal business can operate from my home...

I want to stress how well Kalakoa speaks the truth when writing

The rezoning processes simple: file some paperwork (including SMA/CMA, traffic study,archaeology research,etc), pay a fee, notify all other landowners that are "close enough", post a sign. At somepointtherewill be a hearing,at which the public may testify for/against. SUP process is very similar.

Further that only the very patient and well funded can afford the time and costs.

From start to finish my SUP took about 1.5 years and $35,000. The high cost was due to the fact my simple home based business required the installation of a 2nd septic system to support a 5 bedroom home.

Therefore, the building department is one barrier you are missing. To get approval to install a new septic required updating all blueprints, and stamps of approval from an engineer on Oahu. That lovely building department forced us redraft the plans three times since new areas were not properly "clouded to easily see what revision will be" and previously final approved work did not correctly match initial construction.
We waited months each time plans were resubmitted only to be subjected to the most nasty government official actions thwarting our business.


All this to just operate a legal bed and breakfast.

We were required by State of Hawaii to stop serving breakfast since the commercial grade kitchen to prepare guest food cannot be used by the owner.

A second kitchen was not possible per County of Hawaii.

The combination of the State Health Department and County Building Department are by far the most serious road blocks for the development of small localized businesses that would provide local jobs.


Note: And you were right about needing to be well connected. Guess who was the mortgage loan officer that provided construction loans to officials in the County Planning Department. Nothing illegal occurred. Just information on how to proceed. Were it not for these contacts and help they gave to understand the process, we would have given up.







Edited by - pbmaise on 12/29/2014 07:44:03
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kalakoa
Motormouth

12431 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2014 :  08:45:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From start to finish my SUP took about 1.5 years and $35,000.

This is why we can't have a more lively/diverse local economy.

I saved myself $35K by simply not starting a business in Puna.

The nice folks at Planning said the SUP process would even apply to a one-person operation without employees, clients, guests, signage, deliveries, or equipment; simply put, anything not Ag requires an SUP (or change-of-zone, or lease of a business address located in "proper" zoning).

Yes, many people "get away with" running a business in Ag zoning ... and they all keep one eye looking over their shoulder, because County can step in at any moment and decide to enforce, which uncertainty is not conducive to a small business.
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Shonuff
Newbie

29 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2014 :  14:28:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Having more mixed use designations with reasonable parameters would definitely help solve some of the problems of planning. A certain amount of the way a community unfolds has to happen organically and that is best done with different options being available. I think a reasonable requirement for a piece of land to be designated as ag exclusively is that a substantial amount of soil would be present. If you are fortunate enough to have a piece of land with substantial soil then you should consider it reasonable that it is preserved as agland for future generations but if you own a piece of the rock then this is just an unreasonable obstruction. Until we come to grips with the reality that the lack of planning in the past in Puna has real consequences then the problems will persist. An intervention is in order and if anyone has taken notice, nature has started the process. The subdivisions in Puna as they presently exist are mostly an excuse for the county and state to do nothing. There is a model of community development that worked in these islands but nobody wants to learn from past mistakes that led to that model, they just want to make their own mistakes again.
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