Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Kauai land plan
retains rural character

The General Plan will
affect all decisions on
land use through 2020

By Anthony Sommer
Kauai correspondent


LIHUE -- The 35-member Citizens' Advisory Committee that has been shaping the development of a new Kauai General Plan got its first look at a first draft of the plan last night -- after two years of work.

The General Plan, which still must be adopted by both the Planning Commission and County Council, will guide all land-use decisions on Kauai through at least 2020.

This is the first revision of the plan since 1984.

The draft calls for an island that remains strongly rural in character with 55 percent of the land mass in undeveloped wilderness, 40 percent in agriculture and only 5 percent in small, highly individual communities ringing the island's coast.

It calls for most new residential and commercial development to be in and around existing towns and homestead areas.

The proposed plan tiptoes through numerous mine fields.

It carefully avoids taking a stand on such contentious issues as lengthening the main runway at Lihue Airport, adding facilities for helicopters at Port Allen Airport and finding a solution to overcrowding at Port Allen Harbor.

The plan predicts the tourism industry will still reign 20 years from now, providing up to 35 percent of the jobs on Kauai.

The target average daily tourist count, currently about 17,000, was left open and ranges anywhere from 19,000 to 32,000.

The number of tourists the island should accommodate in the future, the document notes, is "the subject of spirited debate."

A noticeable change in the proposed plan is in the county's approach to residential development on vacant rural property.

The proposed plan calls for far less construction and much more open space.

"If the county does not make clear which lands it wants to preserve, then inappropriate development has a green light," the document states.

The document calls for the Planning Department to revise Kauai's zoning ordinance to sharply limit home building density on vacant rural land, a move almost certain to be opposed by many real estate salespeople and home builders.

There has been a market for rural land which is then developed into farm estates.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin