Lihue loss of vision

SUBHEAD: A deeper planning question is how do we prepare Kauai (and Hawaii) to be sustainable and resilient.

By Juan Wilson on 5 September 2014 for Island Breath-
(http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2014/09/lihue-loss-of-vision.html)


Image above: Pat Griffin, president of the Lihue Business Association (L), discuss aspects of Nawiliwili with Melissa White (R) a consultant with SSFM International during public community meeting. Note presentation board is titled "Desired Patterns of Future Growth & Development". Photo by Dennis Fujimoto.

Yesterday the Garden Island News published a story titled "Lihue's Vision". The takeaway of this article is summed up in the subhead:
 "Plans say 9,000 new housing units needed over the next 20 years."
Another angle on this view into the future, not simply based on the current trajectory of growth, might take into consideration the likelihood that the economic, energy and environmental realities twenty years out will not support that trajectory of growth.

A deeper planning question is how do we prepare Kauai (and Hawaii) to be sustainable and resilient in the future that is playing out in reality... not the one that is an exponential projection of our bad choices to date.

The TGI article is short, so I have reproduced it below.

Been here before?
 I did not attend this meeting but the article makes it sound very familiar. It briefly describes the "community outreach" by the Kauai County Planning Commission (and its experts) in its ceaseless effort to accommodate more development on our island.

The meeting was a public meeting to acquaint the residents from Puhi-Lihue-Hanamaulu area with what's heading their way.  

The usual elements were there - talk of fixing traffic problems, providing more pedestrian amenities, using smart growth thinking and green planning techniques. It's the current form of feelgood evasive jargon spouted by highly regarded experts who want to sell you a bridge to nowhere.

In this case the expert was Cheryl Soon PhD, a hired gun from the project management firm SSFM International. Their mission statement ends (https://www.ssfm.com/AboutUs_Mission.htm#):

"Our extensive expertise in engineering, project management, planning, and construction management is built upon a platform of knowledge-based systems, and we leverage that to service our clients."
 In other words, they never saw a speculative development expansion they didn't like. And they have the muscle to push that project through - if you pay them enough.

Dr. Soon said:
"The plan is a community driven direction for growth and allows private parties to know ahead of time if their plans will fit and be favorably received..."
 The Jargon of Growth
This is jargon for setting it up so that if the plan is accepted by the community, the private developers will know their individual schemes will get approval from Planning without the usual rigmarole of have to grovel in endless public meetings. 

So, not only are we paying for a Planning Department that justifies its existence on the approval and management of new development on Kauai, but that must to go outside experts to convince us of the validity of their "vision".

Our county mayor, Bernard Carvalho, was present to add his wisdom in the issue of planning:
"We look from the past to add on to the present and incorporate some of the technologies of today and hopefully the future to make better opportunities."
What the fuck does that mean?

Public Gets Wise?
The TGI article also makes it plain that the meeting did not go quite as smoothly as had been anticipated or hoped for.

The TGI article mentions a few rough spots for the presenters:
"A small but outspoken group was on hand for the Lihue Community Plan meeting Wednesday at the War Memorial Convention Hall."
"The group of 20 people present expressed concern in many areas. They cautioned planners that the urban edge zoning allowed for oceanfront lots north of Hanamaulu Beach. It gave the appearance of the government allowing luxury development and could create conflict with the vision.

Some were skeptical of the plan’s claim that the county and Grove Farm water supply was adequate for sustained growth, and that all developers had to do is build infrastructure to transmit water to projects.

Guests were concerned as much with consistent sidewalks as with bike paths. Others wanted to see more detail on how bypass roads would be utilized, more tree replacement projects and long-term burial of utility lines."
Leanora Kaiaokamalie, a planner with the County Planning Department said:
"It was a very intense public process, it’s long overdue, and I am looking forward to see this all come to fruition."

Remember back on May 23rd when the Garden Island published "Beating the Traffic Rush"? It covered another public presentation on a bypass road mauka of the Kuhio Highway that would start in Puhi and rejoin the highway in Hamamaulu. Is there any possibility that it and the current article are related?

We said then in Tales of a dark Kauai:
"This describes a $120 million dollar highway boondoggle bypass road mauka of the current highway between Puhi and Hanamaulu. I won't happen for a very long time but it will be the backbone for more development, more traffic and a loss of important agland."



LIHUE'S VISION
TGI 9/4/2014

A small but outspoken group was on hand for the Lihue Community Plan meeting Wednesday at the War Memorial Convention Hall. 
The seven chapter Lihue Community Plan outlines the boundaries of development and provides a principled vision for planning responsible land use through 2035. The goal is a more cohesive and walkable community that maintains the integrity of it character without segregation.

“It was a very intense public process, it’s long overdue, and I am looking forward to see this all come to fruition,” said Leanora Kaiaokamalie, a planner with the County Planning Department. “The implementing is going to take work but hopefully we set the framework to support all of those who are wanting to move in that direction.”

Cheryl Soon, Ph.D., a planning group manager from SSFM International, facilitated the presentation, emphasizing that demographics show a need for 9,000 new housing units over the next 20 years. The plan draws out an “Urban Edge Boundary” to define limits of urban development for best use and protection of ag land and natural resources.

The plan is a community driven direction for growth and allows private parties to know ahead of time if their plans will fit and be favorably received, she said. Public comments will be received until Sept. 12.

The group of 20 people present expressed concern in many areas. They cautioned planners that the urban edge zoning allowed for oceanfront lots north of Hanamaulu Beach. It gave the appearance of the government allowing luxury development and could create conflict with the vision.

Some were skeptical of the plan’s claim that the county and Grove Farm water supply was adequate for sustained growth, and that all developers had to do is build infrastructure to transmit water to projects.

Guests were concerned as much with consistent sidewalks as with bike paths. Others wanted to see more detail on how bypass roads would be utilized, more tree replacement projects and long-term burial of utility lines.

Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr., said the plan shows how Lihue and neighboring towns are spread out and how to interconnect in ways that require less cars. It started with the Complete Streets resolution.

This is a high density area and the places to expand include behind Walmart, and near Wilcox Memorial Hospital, near the back portion of the stadium area.

“We look from the past to add on to the present and incorporate some of the technologies of today and hopefully the future to make better opportunities,” he said.


See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Abercrombie booed on PLDC 9/20/12



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2 comments :

  1. The TGI article is as ridiculous as I'm sure the meeting was. Call me a skeptic, but having been beaten over the head with the cookie-cutter formula of this type of meeting—where they 'listen' to the community—I no longer find it in my sense of pride to attend. Unfortunately for us and our precious island, the current planning process requires developers to hold 1-3 community meetings where 'the public is listened to.' Tragically, 'listened to' is not equivalent to 'considered' or 'factored in.' From the mayor, to the Super Ferry, to Pierre Omidyar in Hanalei, to the GMO nonsense, to the new dump right near a huge residential area, to da kine 'steal all da land' when they tried to take away public lands throughout the state a few years back, to the east side bike path running on a beach and over iwi kupuna, they all KNOW they only have to 'listen' to us, not respond or act upon anything we say, offer, suggest, believe in, desire, or are sick at heart about. After each of these meetings, their process continues PRECISELY as planned. Until the next mandatory meeting, when they 'listen' to us again, then go on to complete their projects.
    Understand, too, that ALL of them are being paid to be there, and any opposition threatens THEIR beloved job (great pay and glorious trips to Kaua`i—project leaders-slash-'experts' are always from the Mainland, never local.) They're not going to say, "Oh-h-h-h wow, maybe this is wrong.... Let's take a fresh look at this concept." Uh-uh, it's WAY too far along by the time they're 'listening' to the community.
    Once you realize this formula, you feel several feet shorter, then shorter and shorter and shorter until you realize none of us are even really there because we don't matter. When you finally grasp that you're just a number at these meetings, so they can tell the commission how many pawns participated in the game, then you don't show up anymore.
    Please, please, somebody prove me wrong.
    I will add that there is one and only one way to make a difference, and that is to fight your guts out, mobilize the masses, and simply not accept the mandate. Like the Super Ferry and da kine steal-all-da-land, and maybe even ultimately the GMO mess..........but I don't see people getting their boxers in a bunch over the development of Lihu`e Town. Too bad, it could be the absolute coolest town anywhere if they'd approach its future from a genuine 'preservation/sustainable' point of view rather than one of 'growth/development.' Simply restore everything, make it beautiful, honor the land, and the town will automatically attract business and money, groovy new projects, interesting ideas, and innovative ways of meeting the future.

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  2. Business as usual, Juan. Fits right in with all the other chaos that's happening on the Death Star. Short term "gain", using our tax money to pay professional enablers and mercenaries to justify and build failed models, guaranteeing disastrous results: more gridlock, toxic environment, overpopulation, mass human suffering, the opposite of sustainability and common sense and the seven generations. "Progress" and "development" at any and all cost. Kaua`i's strategic planning has always been exceptionally lame, having been pulled out of the sorry fat asses of occupation, plantation, military and development whores. Tomorrow is looking mighty ugly, especially for those continuing to pump out even more doomed progeny. Have a nice day!

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