Below are some of the comments the Sierra Club O‘ahu Group gave before the Honolulu Planning Commission at their March 21, 2018 meeting in regards to the updated proposed O‘ahu General Plan. The O‘ahu General Plan is a document that helps guide future development throughout the island and it is long overdue for an update. Mahalo to Honolulu Planning Commission under the leadership of Chair Ka‘iulani Sodaro for taking in consideration many of the concerns the O‘ahu Group provided on the O‘ahu General Plan in relations to population, short-term vacation rentals, and renewable energy. We are pleased that the plan continues to emphasize language relating to climate change, sea level rise, renewable energy, agriculture, and transit-oriented development. Major amendments to the O‘ahu General Plan that were adopted by the Planning Commission include:
- Reinstate language to “Publicize the desire of the City and County to limit population growth.”
- Retain language: “manage” instead of “facilitate” for “the development of secondary resort areas: Ko‘olina Resort, Turtle Bay Resort, Hoakalei Resort at Ocean Point, Mākaha Valley, and La‘ie, in a manner which respects existing lifestyles and the natural environment, and avoids substantial increases in the cost of providing public services in the area.”
According to DPP, these areas were named specifically because they have already been authorized as secondary resort areas.
- Strike language to “Consider small-scale community oriented visitor accommodations in non-resort areas with attention to community input, compatibility of uses, infrastructure adequacy, and the ability to enforce effectively.”
Essentially this would help prevent the further proliferation of short term vacation rentals in residential communities.
- Combine policy language: “Support and encourage programs and projects, including economic incentives, regulatory measures, and educational efforts, which will reduce O‘ahu’s dependence on fossil fuels as its primary source of energy. Promote and assist efforts to establish safe and adequate fossil fuel supply reserves within Hawai’i’s boundaries until Hawai’i reaches its renewable energy goals.
This took into consideration our issue that we should not be promoting any more fossil fuels for O‘ahu, as our State has already committed to 100% clean energy by 2045.
7 changes were made and adopted at this meeting, including the four above. The next step for the O‘ahu General Plan is to be adopted by the City Council. We will continue to advocate for sound environmental policy to be included in the O‘ahu General Plan.
Below are our written comments which we used as a basis for our oral testimony during the public meeting:
Mahalo for your support.