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Public Lands Development Corporation abolished


The state House of Representatives on Monday unanimously passed HB1133, SD2 that repeals the Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC).

The bill now heads to the governor for his consideration.

The PLDC was created in 2011 to develop state lands through public-private partnerships and generate revenues for the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

However, growing public concern over the corporation’s broad exemptions from land use laws, county zoning laws, and construction standards erupted into strong, statewide opposition and calls to repeal the PLDC.

Early in the 2013 legislative session, Rep. Cindy Evans (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala) introduced HB1133 calling for an outright repeal of the PLDC. The bill was unanimously approved by the House and sent to the Senate where it was also approved.

Evans noted that by repealing the PLDC, lawmakers changed the work of the 2011 Legislature.

“I believe we have listened to the people and responsibly debated HB 1133. This vote today is a vote for ethical management of our natural resources,” Evans said.

House Majority Leader Scott Saiki (McCully, Kaheka, Kakaako, Downtown) voted against the original 2011 legislation that created the PLDC.

Monday, in voting to repeal the corporation he said, “We know that government plays a pivotal role in facilitating economic development, but that entails responsible development. The PLDC failed because it went too far and unchecked.”

Several other members of the House also spoke in strong support of the bill with many of them citing repeal as the right thing to do, including first year Rep. Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau).

“Society is healthiest when its citizens are confident their leaders are acting in their interest and this repeal is a step in the right direction,” Lowen said.

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