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Hawai‘i County to Release Updated General Plan

August 5, 2019, 11:18 AM HST
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The County of Hawai‘i Planning Department will release a draft of a document later this week that will  govern land use and development on Hawai’i Island for the next 25 years.

The updated Hawai‘i County General Plan will become available to the public on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. The General Plan is the policy document that guides long-term development, including local plans, zoning ordinances and infrastructure projects on Hawai‘i Island. The General Plan is given a comprehensive review every 10 years. The last comprehensive review of the General Plan was in 2005.

This update of the General Plan incorporates emerging issues that were not addressed in the 2005 General Plan, such as climate change, healthy communities, integrated water resource management, renewable energy, food security, equitable housing and a place-based economy, according to a county press release.

“This plan is the first county plan to focus on sustainability with specific goals of self-sufficiency, social equity, economic mobility and community well-being,” said Planning Director Michael Yee. “These concepts are woven throughout the plan.”

“The plan incorporates the concepts of Urban Growth Areas, which will be used to prioritize infrastructure investment,” he continued. “This shifts the approach for rural areas, so they provide a transition between our productive agricultural lands and our urban uses.”

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To update the General Plan, the Planning Department conducted a comprehensive review of the existing 2005 General Plan and Community Development Plans (CDPs) from each of the districts around the island. Throughout the process, county agencies, CDP Action/Steering Committees and the general public have been asked for input.

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Following release of the Draft General Plan, the Planning Department will host community events around the island during the month of August to solicit public comments. The public can drop into any of the events between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Aug. 10 at the Waimea Middle School Gym; 67-1229 Māmalahoa Hwy, Waimea.
  • Aug, 11 at the Aupuni Center in Hilo; 101 Pauahi St., Suite 1.
  • Aug. 24 at the West Hawai’i Civic Center Council Chambers in Kona; 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Hwy, Building A.
  • Aug. 25 at the Nā‘ālehu Community Center; 95-5635 Māmalahoa Hwy.

The Planning Department will also be holding other smaller events in September focused on specific topics. Residents are encouraged to review the draft plan and share their thoughts. The public comment period will close on Sept. 30, 2019. The public can review the General Plan online at http://www.hiplanningdept.com/general-plan/.

After providing the opportunity for public feedback, the planning director will submit the revised Draft General Plan to the Windward and Leeward Planning Commissions for review, and then submit it to the County Council for final review and adoption.

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For more information contact the County of Hawai`i Planning Department, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3; Hilo, HI 96720. Phone: (808) 961-8288. Email: [email protected]. Those interested in keeping current with upcoming events, progress, and process can sign up for the Department’s eNews at http://www.hiplanningdept.com/general-plan/connect/.

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