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Community Plan Update Begins

A group of 13 Molokai residents has begun the process of planning for the island’s next 20 years. The Molokai Community Plan acts like a blueprint for development, goals, policies and actions. Normally updated every 10 years, the belated update process got officially underway with the Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC)’s first meeting last week.

The first Molokai Community Plan was adopted in 1984 and was updated last in 2001. The community plan guides much of the large-scale decision-making through 2035. It includes complete descriptions of existing conditions on the island and explains land use designations, details on future development, projected effects of that development and infrastructure improvements. The plan also outlines implementation actions for those goals.

The CPAC members are John Sprinzel, Steve Chaikin, Edwin Mendja, Dathan Bicoy, Debra Kelly, April Augustiro, Kip Dunbar, Kau`i Manera, Greg Jenkins, Rob Stevenson, Lori Buchanan, Glenn Teves and Moses Luczon. The group will meet approximately twice a month through September, and meetings will be open to the public with opportunities for testimony and input.

“The purpose of this body is critical in taking feedback from community, rather than decision-making,” said William Spence, Maui County Planning Director at last Thursday’s initial CPAC meeting. “I’m very excited to start this process.”

CPAC members voted on the chair and vice-chair of the committee, who are Chaikin and Dunbar, respectively.

“I’ll just do the best that I can,” said Chaikin. “I think if we all do that, that is the most anyone can ask of us.”

At last week’s meeting, the group got a lesson on the Sunshine Law, which governs the laws of open meetings, ensuring they are transparent and open to public scrutiny and participation.

They also received an overview of the community plan update process from Jennifer Maydan, senior planner and project lead for Molokai’s update.

She explained that following changes to county and state laws governing community plans, county planning department staff have already made changes to Molokai’s last 2001 community plan. The CPAC will now be reviewing the draft and adding input over a period of six months.

This will be followed by another six-month period review of the draft plan by the Molokai Planning Commission. After that, the updated plan will be in the hands of the County Council for one year, during which more public hearings will be held. The final draft of the community plan will then be reviewed by the Mayor’s office before it’s finalized.

“I’m touched and grateful that we have you guys on this advisory…  I applaud you, I thank you,” County Councilmember Stacy Crivello told CPAC members. “I hope our community will make every effort to participate.”

The draft plan is organized into 10 main chapters: introduction, Molokai’s future, environment, hazard mitigation, economic development, land use and housing, community design, infrastructure, public facilities and services, and implementation and monitoring. CPAC members will discuss each of these chapters during 14 meetings currently scheduled over the next seven months. Their main role will be to provide local knowledge, recommend added or amended goals or actions, identify desired future scenarios and areas of growth, and provide Molokai’s voice and vision, said Maydan.

Click here for the meeting schedule.


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