County General Plan Public Feedback Sessions

October 9, 2019, 1:37 PM HST (Updated October 9, 2019, 1:37 PM)
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Anyone who wants to chime in on the Hawai‘i County General Plan will have their chance this month.

The Hawai‘i County Department of Planning will host events around Hawai‘i Island through October to solicit public feedback on proposed updates to the General Plan before the comment period closes on Oct. 31, 2019.

Once adopted, the plan, referred to as General Plan 2040, will govern land use and development on Hawai‘i Island for the next 25 years. General Plan 2040 strives to position Hawai‘i Island for economic progress while preserving the environment and strengthening community foundations. Specific needs of each area of the Island have been evaluated to craft a sound growth strategy that directs future opportunities related to land use, zoning amendments and capital expenditures.

“General Plan 2040 incorporates issues that have emerged or become more urgent since 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,” said County Planning Director Michael Yee.

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The Planning Department hosted community events throughout August and September to solicit public comments on General Plan 2040. Over the next several weeks, the public will have a last opportunity to give feedback prior to the end of the comment period.

The public is invited to drop in any of the Community Mini-SpeakOuts between 6 and 8 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Oct. 16 at the Puku‘ana United Church of Christ in Captain Cook
  • Oct. 24 at the Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School

In addition, the Planning Department is holding several topical workshops:

Oct. 12 at the County of Hawaiʻi Office of Aging in Hilo

  • Land Use, 9 a.m. to noon
  • Economic Development, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Oct. 19 at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center Council Chambers in Kailua-Kona

  • Infrastructure, 9 a.m. to noon
  • Natural Resources, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Oct. 26 at the County of Hawaiʻi Office of Aging in Hilo

  • Infrastructure, 9 a.m. to noon
  • Natural Resources, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Planners have been keeping track of topic items emphasized or brought up repeatedly in various districts during the public sessions,” Yee said. “We will focus on these items in greater detail during the topical workshops.”

Once the public comment period ends, planners will incorporate comments and provide another public review period prior to moving the draft General Plan 2040 forward through the legislative process. The Windward and Leeward Planning Commission hearings are expected to begin by the Spring of next year. Members of the community are encouraged to be a part of the process and to testify during the hearings. The County Council is charged with final review and adoption.

The public can review General Plan 2040 online and give feedback online.

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

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