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Completion of Community Plan Faces Delays

After several years in process, finalization of the Molokai Community Plan update may be further delayed by the Maui County Council. Planning Committee Chair Kelly King is seeking a council resolution extending the deadline to enact the updated plan until the end of the year. The original timeline called for County Council finalization of the plan this May.

In a Planning Committee meeting on Maui in mid-February, King expressed concern that the committee would not have adequate time to review the draft and gather community feedback at this point.

The County Council’s review and adoption is the final step in the process for updating the 2001 Molokai Community Plan that began a few years ago. Revisions to the plan were initially prepared and recommended by County Planning Department staff, then reviewed by the Molokai Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC), a 13 member committee of Molokai residents that 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, 2016.

In May of last year, the draft plan was handed off to the County Council, which had one year to review the draft plan update, make revisions, and adopt the updated Molokai Community Plan by ordinance.

Michelle Del Rosario, executive assistant to King, said the council took no action from May, 2016 until January, 2017. King was elected to the Council in January, giving her only a few months to take action, as chair of the Planning Committee. The upcoming County budget meetings will also preclude discussion of the Molokai Community Plan between March 24 and May 5, according to Del Rosario.

King’s resolution to extend the deadline to Dec. 29 of this year will come before the full council on March 10 for a vote, Del Rosario said.

“Chair King has made a commitment to work on the plan on an expedited basis and to give it the attention and resources needed this year to finish it this year — that’s her goal,” said Greg Garneau from Maui County Office of Council Services, at the February Planning Committee meeting.

He added that with prior community plan updates, such as Lanai’s recent update completion, extensions were also granted.

Additional community meetings will be held by council members on Molokai as part of the process.

King said she and Molokai’s Councilmember Stacy Crivello plan to hold smaller, informal meetings on Molokai in the upcoming weeks. Del Rosario said larger public meetings will likely be held in different areas of the island in May or June.

“[King] wants to make sure that it’s done properly and that the input of the Molokai community is included,” said Del Rosario of the Molokai Community Plan update. “I think it’s very likely that extension will be granted.”

Garneau said in the Planning Committee meeting that community feedback, Planning Committee input and councilmembers’ suggestions would all be taken into consideration when completing the final version of the Molokai Community Plan update.

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