Community Plan Extension Granted
Molokai has been granted some extra time to prepare the island’s Community Plan, which will guide the island for the next decade.
Over the past six months, the Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) has been in the first stage of updating the plan, reviewing and making recommendations to the draft. However, following several cancelled meetings due to weather and increased interest from residents, the CPAC requested an extension to finalize their feedback before the process moves to the next phase. The County Council granted the request earlier this month, moving the deadline for the CPAC’s review from Sept. 8 to Oct. 30.
The next meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 16 and Thursday, Sept. 17, starting at 5 p.m. at Kulana Oiwi.
County Planner Jennifer Maydan, who is leading the community plan update process, said the extension will allow the committee to “revisit any unfinished items, hear additional public testimony, and review a revised draft of the plan” before it continues to the Molokai Planning Commission for a six-month review.
“An extension would help us make a good plan great,” said CPAC chair Steve Chaikin at their Aug. 19 meeting.
At the Sept. 4 County Council meeting, 12 Molokai residents testified in favor of the extension, including three CPAC members. The 13-person CPAC had been divided in its support of an extension, and while many committed to doing whatever it takes to make the best plan possible, others shared the challenges of scheduling the frequent and lengthy meetings – some exceeding six hours – while still maintaining their personal commitments.
An influx of public testimony also arrived late in the game. While community input was welcomed at each meeting since March, it wasn’t until mid-August that residents began to take an active interest.
“Even if we’re late in this whole scheme of things, please do not disregard us for being here at the last minute,” testified resident Kanoe Davis on Aug. 19, supporting an extension. “Please give us a chance to look over everything… and speak so you can hear our voices.”
The Aha Kiole Island Council requested the opportunity to gather additional input around the island in round-table discussions that would be summarized to include in the plan update.
“Personally I would be committed to doing whatever is necessary… to ensure that our final product represented community input,” said CPAC’s Greg Jenkins. “It would be very remiss and irresponsible that we create a final product that did not adequately reflect the needs that were presented by our community members.”
The CPAC will continue to accept public testimony at each meeting. Written testimony should be received at least two days before the meeting to ensure distribution to the committee. It can be dropped off at the Mitchell Pauole Center labeled “Attn: Molokai CPAC” or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If written testimony is presented at the meeting, 15 copies are requested. Individuals can also sign up to offer oral testimony.
The Draft Molokai Community Plan Update is available for review at the Mitchell Pauole Center, the Molokai Public Library, or online at mauicounty.gov under Planning Department, Molokai Community Plan Update. A schedule of meetings over the next month can also be found on the county’s website.