Walter Lewis published an interesting piece in TGI (Garden Island Newspaper) earlier in the month about stemming the development tide on the island. In 2000, the Kauai General Plan was adopted to set in place parameteres for the county's rate of development. The plan limits the increase of visitor accomodation units to an average of about 125 units per year. The units that have been constructed and those with approvals from planning officials are vastly in excess of the pace noted in the General Plan. In the past months, a group of citizens concerned about the unchecked growth of the accomodation units concluded something needed to be done to prevent our island from becoming a Maui-like mecca for vistors.
The Coalition for Responsible Government has initiated a charter amendment calling for our the County Council to accept responsiblity for the number of permits for construction of transient units. This would be an improvement over leaving this power in the hands of the appointed Planning Commission, whcih has proven unwilling or unable to stem the development tide. Under the charter amendment the council may delegate the permitting responsiblity back to the Planning Commission if it adopts an ordinance limiting tourist accomodations to the rate contemplated under General Plan.
Map of Kealanani - New Kealia Ag SubdivisionAerial of Poipu Aina estates
A spokesperson for the charter amendment commented that it would be years before the council looks at the issues and even then there is no assurance action might occur. Citizens are increasingly giving the council a vote of no confidence in its inability to act on matters of public concern. The initiative must be affirmatively voted on in the November 2008 general election to move forward.
Stay tuned for more on this amendment. There is also an ongoing discussion about a vote to have a professional county manager instead of an elected mayor to run Kauai. The mayor would then be an appointed person, a figurehead who does PR and personally represents our county at many island events.
Ron Margolis, RA, CDPE, ABR Hawaii Life Real Estate Services 808.346.7095 email: firstname.lastname@example.org