Council member Michelle Anderson spoke at last night's meeting and
provided the coalition with a truck load of valuable information.
After a divorce in the early eighties, Michelle moved to Kapalua with
her young son. She met Colin Cameron who took her under his wing and
made her feel welcome and this is why the region holds a special place
in her heart. Michelle stated that the Maui Land and Pineapple of
today, is no longer a kama'aina owned business as it was when the
Cameron family was involved--they would have never built in this area.
Council member Anderson is one of our best resources on the county
council. Her respect for the host culture combined with her knowledge
of countywide drainage issues and her experiences working with former
council member Wayne Nishiki come together for the benefit of all
those who call Maui home.
I encourage everyone to watch (and rewatch) video footage of
Michelle's speech to utilize all of the valuable information that she
bestowed on those in attendance as there is no way that my summary can
do it justice. There are a few important points that I would like to
emphasize. First is that the West Maui community plan is like our
bible and we should study and use it. The policies, objectives and
goals are protective covenants that are covered by law. Michelle has
said that ownership of land does not give free reign to develop if it
is not in line with the community's plan. In fact in an area such as
Honolua Bay which is a state designated marine life conservation
district--the highest protection currently available, the landowners
could be held accountable for allowing the degradation. The fact that
there are no injection wells in the area and that coral cover has
decreased from 42% to 9% is alarming and we must realize that this is
from land based pollutants. We need to make the case against more
irresponsible development in this area and speak up in a group in
order for the community plan to be followed. Vigilance and action is
required to prevent changes in zoning and amendments to the plan.
Second, the Water Availability bill (WR13) which is currently before
the water resource committee and will be heard Sept 6, 2007 at 9AM in
council chambers needs your support. This bill was accepted in
California six years ago and it requires developers to prove, not
theorize that there is a long term source of water for any project
they wish to develop. This bill seems like common sense, but a lot of
good legislation dies without community support, so please show up and
give testimony or send an email to email@example.com to show
support. Without this bill, a developer could say they have an
entitlement to build and once the project is completed and water is
unavailable, ask the county to give them water, even if it will add
further strain on existing resources.
Third, currently all agricultural subdivisions are handled internally
by the Department of Public Works and do not require a public hearing.
It would be beneficial to encourage the public works committee to
bring forward on the agenda a bill that would require a subdivision of
land over a specific size (four lots or more) to hold a public
hearing. This bill was introduced about 3 or 4 terms ago but without the
political will to move it forward, it has gotten lost within the
system. Also regarding the county's agricultural ordinances, the
current sliding scale needs to be updated as it is at least ten years
old. We can also sign up for the Office of Environmental Quality
Control (OEQC) bulletin and get involved in the EIS process.
These are just a few of the important points covered by council member
Anderson at last night's Save Honolua Coalition meeting. I encourage
everyone to stay tuned for the Akaku airing of this meeting to learn