Community Plan Update in Final Stage
By Catherine Cluett Pactol
The Molokai Community Plan has begun the final step in the update process. In May, the Maui County Planning Department transmitted the draft document to the County Council for review and adoption. Once completed, the plan — a comprehensive blueprint for the island’s economic and environmental resources, infrastructure and cultural values — will help guide Molokai’s future over the next decades.
This is the final step in the process for updating the 2001 Molokai Community Plan that began more than a year ago. Revisions to the plan were initially prepared and recommended by Planning Department staff, then reviewed by the Molokai Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC), a 13 member committee of Molokai residents, which provided its recommended revisions during public meetings and workshops held from March through October 2015. The draft plan was then passed on to the Molokai Planning Commission, whose members added additional revisions and heard public testimony, wrapping up in March.
During a six-hour community meeting that month, community members presented an updated East Molokai Policy Statement that was included in the draft plan, and Maunaloa and Kaluakoi residents also came together to present a West Molokai Policy Statement. These policy statements represent collective descriptions and regional visions from area residents that together, constitute an additional chapter in the Community Plan.
Now that the draft plan has been handed over to the County Council, Planning Director Will Spence stressed that the Planning Department is no longer in charge of the process.
“Once we transmit it to County Council, it becomes their kuleana,” said Spence. “They will hold meetings on Maui, but… they are also required to hold meetings over here [on Molokai]…. The community will be very involved in the whole thing.”
Those meetings have yet to be scheduled, but in the meantime, Spence recommended residents contact the County Council directly during the remainder of the process with any written testimony, concerns or questions, and particularly reach out to Molokai’s council member Stacy Crivello.
Spence said changes to the draft plan take place throughout the process from beginning to end, but any changes that are made during the council’s phase will be shared with the public and discussed at the upcoming Molokai meetings. At that time, community members will also have the opportunity to offer additional testimony and recommendations.
“The ultimate changes that the council will make, historically, have been small,” he said of other plan updates. “But they are usually the controversial changes. Ninety-nine percent of changes made here [on Molokai so far] are going to stay in there.”
The County Council has one year to review the draft plan update, make revisions, and adopt the updated Molokai Community Plan by ordinance. The council’s Planning Committee agendas can be viewed on the County Council’s website at mauicounty.us/pc/. Follow the “meeting agenda and documents” link to sign up for email alerts when the draft plan update is scheduled.
The Draft Molokai Community Plan Update as of May can be viewed on the County’s website at co.maui.hi.us/1684/Molokai-Community-Plan-Update.