- Associated Press - Thursday, May 1, 2014

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - County planners on Hawaii’s Big Island can’t meet the deadline for the next update to the county’s general plan, so they have taken action to eliminate the deadline from the law.

The Hawaii County Council Planning Committee voted 7-2 Wednesday to recommend changing the wording of the county code, West Hawaii Today (https://is.gd/A0vPr7 ) reported Thursday.

The code change would mandate that a comprehensive review of the plan must be initiated by the Planning Department no more than 10 years after the adoption of the a previous plan. Under the current code, new plan amendments must be submitted to the county council within 10 years.

The recommendation must be approved by the county council.

The general plan was last updated in February 2005 and is set to have a new update completed by February 2015.

A combination of factors caused the plan-amendment process to slip off the drawing board, planning director Duane Kanuha told the committee. The Planning Department was busy creating community development plans allowing more community input in planning. That effort pulled staff off work on the general plan during a time when position freezes and furloughs led to fewer employees.

Once community development plans are adopted, Kanuha said, the general plan keeps the local development plans together.

Hawaii County Council member Brenda Ford voted against the proposed change in the code.

“We can’t make the deadline, period, therefore we’re asking for no deadline,” Ford said, characterizing the department’s request. “We’re not going to make the deadline that we’ve known about for 10 years.”


Information from: West Hawaii Today, https://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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