All Ag Land is Important

SUBHEAD: Every piece of land outside of a current town or city limit on Kaua‘i should be designated as important.

By Gordon Oswald on 1 November 2010 in The Garden Island -
Image above: Kauai built out. Illustration by Juan Wilson. From (  

OK, finally I can say I’ve heard it all! The “Stakeholder Committee” has decided there are eight criteria to designate important Agricultural Lands on Kaua‘i. In their highly questionable wisdom they’ve chosen these eight criteria to identify the land we need to protect for Agriculture as: currently in agriculture, of good soil quality, identified by Agricultural Lands of Importance to the State of Hawaii or Land Study Bureau, having Native Hawaiian or unique crops, having sufficient water, being consistent with county plans, contributing to critical land mass, and having access to infrastructure and markets. Are you laughing yet?

There isn’t a semi talented developer in the world or a land owner who graduated from high school that couldn’t eye a piece of land to re-zone for development that couldn’t legally challenge at least one of the scores assigned to a criteria in court and sue to be able to develop any where they want. The dolts on the “Stakeholder Committee” can not possibly be serious about using this kind of system to designate these lands. This is not about growing crops. This is about development and protecting Kaua‘i from becoming another Oahu or Maui, where carving up the natural landscape with heavy equipment and putting up houses surrounded by concrete is king and money is more important than beauty.

There is a General Plan that was enacted many years ago and it should be the Bible of Kaua‘i County. Every piece of land outside of a current town or city limit on Kaua‘i should be designated as important, and developers should not have one chance in a million of developing it. Enough is enough and unless you want to build a four lane highway around this Island, development in any area outside of a current contiguous populated area should be permanently terminated. Agriculture can occur anywhere on this Island, even in the dry and arid climate of the west side. When people are starving every square foot of land is important for agriculture. Just ask the Israelis who turned the desert into a green oasis of Agriculture. Or the farmers in Arizona and Nevada who have done likewise.

Forget about this nonsense of land designation because of potential “Agriculture” use and call a spade a spade. Where land has already been developed in less than one acre plots increase the density and build whatever the Planning Department approves. Where the density is currently one home for more than one acre stop development period. Kaua‘i is what it is because it’s perhaps the most beautiful place on earth. Keep it that way, or lose that designation forever!

See also:
Island Breath: On Mayor's Proposed Moratorium on Agland Development 8/9/07


1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Your article is right on! Be ever vigilant!

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