Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 22:58:52 -1000
From: Amara Karuna <email@example.com>
Subject: Love the Land, Use your voice ASAP- pls forward
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If you love Hawaii, and want to protect our public lands from unsupervised commercial and energy development – it’s the time to say so! Even if you usually never get politically involved… the land needs your voice now.
This can affect your neighborhood… please read!
Please forward this to all your friends on all the islands- it affects everyone.
See below on how to voice your opinions.
Is This A Good Idea?
A corporation for development of public lands, exempt from taxes, zoning, building or land use laws?
Report by Amara Karuna
Monday, August 20th, 2012
Should businesses get out of following all those pesky laws that we locals have to?
Should they be able to build what they want without getting comments from the neighbors? And then charge the costs to the people living nearby? And not pay any state taxes at all?
And who really owns those public lands anyway? Does the state really have the authority to give them away or do they belong to the Hawaiian people? And who decides what projects happen, under what criteria?
These are only a few of the questions raised by the passing of Act 55, which created a corporation to encourage private development on our public lands. This bill was rushed through the Hawaii State government in record time… it took only 3 days to vote it in and sign it. There was no time for public commentary.
Over 100 concerned citizens of all kinds attended a meeting in Hilo on Monday, to give feedback on the proposed administrative guidelines under which the Public Lands Development Corporation (“PLDC”) is to operate.
Every person testifying was strongly against of what is being proposed, and many spoke with heartfelt depth and well considered points. It was one of the most inspiring political gatherings I have ever witnessed. There was a tangible feeling of solidarity and fierce protectiveness of our beautiful home. If you are feeing intimidated and overwhelmed by the politics on your island, try attending one of these for support. I felt proud to be living here with these strong, dedicated, spiritually aware people.
This was only the first of several public hearings that are being held, and I urge you to take the time to go to the ones on your island, and to send your opinion in writing, and to encourage all your friends to also do so. As one woman said, “Don’t get angry, get busy!”
There is a bill being proposed to repeal this legislation. Let’s put our power behind that.
The rocks, trees, oceans and creatures cannot speak for themselves. We are their voice.
We have until Sept 14th to comment… please send your testimony sooner than later.
August 21 (6:00 p.m.) Kona (Konawaena High School Cafeteria)
August 24 (6:00 p.m.) Maui (Maui Waena Intermediate School Cafeteria)
August 27 (6:00 p.m.) Molokai (Mitchell Pauole Community Center)
August 29 (6:00 p.m.) Oahu (Dept. of Land and Natural Resources Kalanimoku Building, Room 132)
August 31 (6:00 p.m.) Kauai (Elsie H. Wilcox Elementary School)
Can’t make it to these hearings? Please send your comments via written testimony to PLDC, P.O. Box 2359, Honolulu, HI 96804, prior to Sept 14.
Make testimony brief, only a few sentences, and to the point. Try to keep comments non-abusive and rational in language.
Please ask the “PLDC” to improve their draft administrative rules, which currently don’t adequately protect our environment, neighborhoods, and cultural traditions.
Email comments accepted prior to Sept 14 at – <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for those who are unable to provide in-person testimony.
So, you want the details?
From the Sierra Club:
Tell the PLDC to protect OUR public land for future generations!
The PLDC can exempt development projects from normal oversight. The upcoming hearings are a terrific opportunity to ask the PLDC to establish common sense protections that protect our beaches, parks, and schools from greedy developers and development projects.
171C-19, (quoted below) is exempt from many requirements that affect other developers.
The PLDC is a vehicle to facilitate development on public land by providing special favors such as state money and permit avoidance.
The rules, as written, don’t require hearings on the Big Island, for example, if the PLDC wants to do a project on the island, Harris said. Nor would the corporation’s governing board be required to get the county’s input on any proposal, he added. “Right now, they can essentially ignore the county,” Harris said.
When legislators were first discussing creating the corporation, people in support made vague promises that no “bad projects” would be approved, Harris said. The rules don’t spell out what kind of projects the corporation may pursue, nor do the rules give specific criteria for approving projects, he said. That is another cause for worry, he added.
The rules require, among other things, for counties to bear the cost of improvements in areas the corporation deems assessment areas and for county water supply boards to bear the cost of water improvements. The rules would allow the corporation to require “abutting property owners at their expense to construct, maintain and repair sidewalks and curbs in front of the abutting property.” If the PLDC requires utility lines to be moved, neighboring property owners must then pay for new connections to the lines.
The proposed rules changes are available at hawaii.gov/dlnr/pldc/rules. The public may request a written copy of the rules by writing to the PLDC at PO Box 2359, Honolulu, Hawaii 96804.
In January of 2011 Samuel J. Lemmo, the Administrator for OCCL, Office of conservation and coastal lands gave a presentation about changes that they were making within conservation lands. This changes were marked as Sub-zones in the conservation lands.
“There will be many reasons given to sacrifice our pubic lands for all kinds of destructive activities such as drilling for water, geothermal and anything else they can make money off of as well as pushing too develop these lands for commercial purposes with little public or county meaningful input or participation.
This will spread and speed the destructive kind of developments we have seen particularly on Oahu and Maui like never before. Expediting the degradation of our remaining precious natural environment and way of life . The roads alone they make for these projects, wells and developments as we have see all over the Hawaiian islands are a huge threat to our remaining native forest.
Developments DNR has permitted in the past and will be pushing for now and in the future have devastated our forest, beaches, coastline, and other natural areas for corporate interest, the PDC will further and speed the progressive destruction of our environment.”
More from Robert:
Once the rules are made it will be much harder to object as they will argue this was your chance to be heard…..It is not just geothermal, it’s ammonia factories, hydrogen manufacturing, ocean strip mining, space ports or anything else they can come up with.
They want to charge you for improvements to “their” development and force you to pay through liens on your property. Landowners could lose their home or property if they do not have money, or want to pay who knows how much for improvements for the development that has nothing to do with them.
page 18, http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/bills/SB1555_CD1_.pdf
They want to authorize the imposition of underground utility connection costs on private property without the landowners consent . The rules appear to wrongfully exceed the legislative authority in this regard. They are overstepping their authority.
If you have questions or information e-mail Robert Petricci at <mailto:email@example.com>firstname.lastname@example.org
For those who want the specifics:
FYI the following information is to help prepare for the hearings:
The Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC) created by last year’s legislature (Act 55, adding a new Chapter 171C to the Hawai`i Revised Statutes [HRS]) to exploit public lands commercially (pursuant to HRS § 171C-19, quoted below) is exempt from many requirements that affect other developers. The PLDC is a vehicle to facilitate development on public land by providing special favors such as state money and permit avoidance.
Senate Resolution 25 (2012) urges the PLDC ‘to identify public trust land on the Islands of Hawaii and Maui with geothermal resources that may be developed” and to “work with the Department of Land and Natural Resources to develop and implement geothermal projects on the Islands of Hawaii and Maui.”
Combining special favoritism through economic support and permit avoidance is consistent with how the State has treated geothermal development in the past, but now that approach is formalized in the PLDC to an extreme.
Notwithstanding section 171-42 and except as otherwise noted in this chapter, projects pursuant to this chapter shall be exempt from all statutes, ordinances, charter provisions, and rules of any government agency relating to special improvement district assessments or requirements; land use, zoning, and construction standards for subdivisions, development, and improvement of land; and the construction, improvement, and sale of homes thereon; provided that the public land planning activities of the corporation shall be coordinated with the county planning departments and the county land use plans, policies, and ordinances.
HRS § 171C-19
Voting against the legislation creating the PLDC were Representatives Awana, Belatti, Brower, Hanohano, Jordan, C. Lee, Luke, Saiki and Wooley plus Senator Ihara.