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Hamakua CDP update for August

From the Hamakua CDP Steering Committee:

The next CDP Meeting is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6 at Kulaimano Community Center, Pepeekeo

What’s on the September agenda?

Timeline adjustments and what’s next, including plans for the Regional Workshop and other adjustments; Introduction to Strategy Area Booklet, including Steering Committee discussion of their roles in planning small meetings and eliciting community input

Here are some highlights from our August Steering Committee meeting in North Hilo:

The Opportunities & Limitations of a CDP

The County of Hawaii General Plan (authorized by County Charter) authorizes the creation of the CDPs and mandates they be adopted by ordinance. This creates opportunities for communities to be involved in the planning decisions affecting their future. However, the CDPs are limited by various factors of scope and jurisdiction. An effective, implementable CDP will pay attention to these factors:

* Policies need to be clear whether aspirational (“may”) or mandatory (“shall”)
* Mandatory policies need to be within County jurisdiction
* Maps need to be clear whether informational or “official”
* Special standards or procedures that differ from existing code will be checked for legality with Corporation Counsel
* Recommendations for changes that affect individual property rights (e.g., rezoning) will need to undergo a follow-up process separate from the CDP (they are not automatically changed through CDP adoption)
* Capital improvement priorities are advisory and funding is the prerogative of the County Council/Administration

Limitations of CDPs to be aware of:

* Legal issues with CDPs include constitutional issues such as private property rights and the right to travel on public roads, along with the need for consistency with Federal, State, and other County laws/codes
* Jurisdictional issues include elements outside the scope of County of Hawaii control, such as Education and Healthcare (both in State of Hawaii jurisdiction), and State and Federal lands such as Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Pohakuloa (which already have their own management plans involving public process). While the plan may address issues outside direct County of Hawaii control, it is understood that this would be in the form of building partnerships and suggesting recommendations.
* Funding limitations occur because the Hāmākua region will be competing with the rest of the island for resources and infrastructure funding is based on population
* Projects already in process are beyond the legal scope of the CDP
* Projects that are highly contentious or community-dividing may not be addressed within the CDP

Goal: An Implementable Plan

* Clarity and specificity in crafting the policies and implementing actions
* Feasibility of the policies and implementing actions
* An inclusive process in developing the plan so that the community is aware and cares about the plan enough to become the “keepers of the flame”
* Sufficient indicators to monitor progress and effectiveness of implementation

Desired Outcomes of the CDP

* To identify and build upon the unique characteristics, history, culture, and strengths of the place and its people;
* To articulate a vision that unifies and inspires a collective commitment and action;
* Consistent with the community’s vision, the CDP will develop specific goals, objectives, policies, and actions, as well as detailed implementation strategies;
* To guide future growth to appropriate areas;
* To set in place the building blocks for an economy and support a lifestyle that can sustain the next and following generations;
* To identify and prioritize infrastructure and public facilities at an appropriate level of service for this rural area;
* To create a plan of action and institutional framework where government and the people work in proactive partnership towards implementation;
* To identify appropriate updates/amendments to the General Plan that are more consistent with the values, vision, and needs of the people of this Planning Area.

For further information, email

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