Shoreline Setback Setback

SUBHEAD: County Council wrecks shoreline setback requirement legislation. Misplaces trust in Planning Director. image above: Dr. Karl Kim, left, and Planning Director Ian Costa prior to Council meeting. Photo by Dennis Fujimoto from Garden Island article. [Publisher's note: Planning Director Ian Costa has demonstrated little understanding of shoreline Special Management Area (SMA) issues or shoreline setback requirements. He has demonstrated a tendency to bend over backwards for the rich and powerful on shoreline access as well. We should not trust his judgment or give him discretion in deciding shoreline issues. We should all ask Mayor Carvalho to veto this bill!] By Michael Levine on 6 November 2009 in The Garden Island - The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that gives the Planning Department greater flexibility in deciding when to require a costly shoreline certification. The legislation amended the shoreline setback law passed last year that was considered among the strongest in the nation. Coastal advocates such as North Shore resident Caren Diamond have argued that the update would undermine the existing legislation. Following the vote, she said she wished the bill had been “thrown in the trash.” But she said council amendments to the bill — one on Oct. 14 and two more Wednesday — make it “far stronger” than the version that came from the Planning Department. “The council addressed the loopholes planning was trying to put in there,” Diamond said. “I think the core setback legislation is still strong.” The first of the two new amendments, introduced by Councilman Derek Kawakami at the request of Chair Bill “Kaipo” Asing, added language that exempts public improvements and facilities and repairs to lawfully existing private structures from certified shoreline requirements. The second amendment, introduced by Vice Chair Jay Furfaro, capped the value of the public facilities at $125,000. All private repairs in the Special Management Area that are valued at over $125,000 automatically trigger an SMA major permit, which includes a certified shoreline, Furfaro said. The planning director still has the discretion to require certified shorelines for those that were given exemptions but is not required by law to do so. Furfaro said governmental agencies could conceivably skirt the $125,000 cap by doing larger projects piecemeal, but said legislative perfection is difficult to attain. The bill passed 7-0, with Councilwoman Lani Kawahara counted with the majority after remaining silent when her name was called. She said afterward that she declined to vote in favor because Kawakami’s amendment allows the planning director to require “a shoreline survey stamped by a licensed surveyor” or other less stringent data when not directed by the law to require a certified shoreline. Bill No. 2319, which has already made its way through the Planning Department, Planning Commission and the council’s Planning Committee, will now be sent to Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. for his signature.

No comments :

Post a Comment