Monday, March 04, 2013

Ko'olauloa Sustainable Communities Plan

From the Defend Oahu Coalition website:
The draft Ko'olauloa Sustainable Communities Plan (KSCP) does not reflect the needs of the majority of residents and communities of Ko'olauloa. Laie Developer HRI (the for-profit arm of the Mormon Church) circumvented public process and forced massive expansion plans for BYUH, PCC, and Malaekahana into the draft. The developer at Turtle Bay Resort also met behind closed dorrs with DPP and successfully pushed through an untimely and unsustainable expansion plan calling for 5 additional hotels and 1,000 additional condominiums. According to the KSCP's vision statement for the region (Chapter 2-1) the plan "seeks to preserve the region's rural character and its natural, cultural and scenic resources." In its current draft form, the plan will not maintain that vision.
The website has a form letter that you can send to several key people in government that are involved in the governmental processes regarding the North Shore of O'ahu's proposed expansions. The following has combined my personal opinions along with the form letter (highlighted). If you so feel inclined to question this behind-closed-doors-expansion, please go to the DOC site and submit your opinion.

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I am writing to respectfully ask that DPP change the draft Ko’olauloa Sustainable Communities Plan to reflect the needs of the residents of all communities in Ko’olauloa.
Through an entirely transparent process, the public recommended sustainable and forward-looking changes to the existing plan, all the while remaining true to the vision for Ko’olauloa. Over 5,000 residents signed a petition to remove the massive expansion plan at Turtle Bay Resort from the Sustainable Communities Plan. The vast majority of residents recommended deleting provisions that exempted the resort from complying with current laws and conditions because the expansion is no longer consistent with the community's sustainability goals. This request to remove the Turtle Bay Resort expansion (after overwhelming community opposition and the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling on a supplemental EIS) was completely ignored by DPP. Changes also made to the draft at the departmental level (i.e. the proposed “Envision Laie” plan) were based on a development proposal not vetted through a process that was proper and transparent.  DPP should (at the very least) bring their version of the plan back out to the Public Advisory Committee for review. I also request that the City and County of Honolulu put off adoption of the Sustainable Communities Plans until the General Plan is adopted. 

I would like to address specific topics and ask that you consider them carefully:

Family Sustainability :: With the proposed expansions by Turtle Bay and HRI's Envision Laie, the Ko'olauloa Community and adjoining communities will be implants from Provo or tourists. None of the families that have existed in this community have been taken into consideration!

Housing :: Expansion of Malaekahana is ridiculous. It will use all the ag and pasture land for development of homes. The land adjacent to HRI's property belongs to a chum of Steven Wheelwright. Once HRI/BYUH gets the okay to develop Malaekahana for housing, the adjacent 450 acres will get developed. Once the initial inventory is gone, we will face this same crisis in the future. With rising cost of fuel to ship goods to Hawai'i -- we should be encouraging the development of agricultural parcels and return to small-truck farming. This will ease the cost of food to the people that exist in these islands!

JOBS:: If the ag land remains, we can develop the ag land as farms. Jobs can be created by developing farms. This is much more sustainable in the long run considering that much of the money will remain here in the islands.

TRAFFIC:: With this looming development of our beautiful ahu, there is no way this can happen without a traffic study. It is already ridiculously crowded during the day and evening. Residents of the area are held captive until after the Polynesian Cultural Center's evening show has completed; 930pm at the earliest.

Polls and surveys by HRI/BYUH are not indicative of the community at large. In fact, their results are highly skewed in their favor. Suspect!
Neither the expansion plan at Turtle Bay Resort, nor “Envision Laie” fit within the confines of the Oahu General Plan, which specifies that “Ko’olauloa’s natural resources and predominately ‘country’ character should be maintained by allowing only limited development in established communities, and that agricultural lands along the Windward, North Shore, and Wai’anae coasts are to be maintained for diversified agriculture”.

No expansion of our precious community, please!

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