County Policy Plan Review Causes Frustration

Unproductive meeting for Molokai General Plan Advisory Committee.

By Léo Azambuja 

The second meeting to fine tune the countywide General Policy Plan was bit of a disappointment for some participants. While Protect Natural Environment and Preserve Local Cultures and Traditions were on the agenda, Molokai General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) members were only able to get through half of the first issue.

The General Plan contains broad policy objectives applying to all of Maui County. It will set forth the general direction residents want the County to take in the next 20 years.

Each island in the Maui County has its own GPAC, which will contribute to the final countywide General Plan. 

“We just want to make sure the plan will not stop us from doing things that we want in our own community plan,” said DeGray Vanderbilt, Molokai GPAC chairman. “I looked through everything and it seems fine.”

Because of an overlapping long range planning meeting, GPAC organizers and attendees began their meeting two hours behind schedule.

Many were visibly frustrated. Some GPAC members had to leave, forcing the meeting into a two-hour recess until there were enough members to restart the meeting.

As a result, only half of the Protect Natural Environment section was reviewed.

Lori Buchanan, from the Molokai Invasive Species committee, said she spent half of her life working with conservation and environmental issues. She proposed some slight changes in the director’s recommendations verbiage, because she wanted to make sure the Plan would promote preservation rather than development.

Mac Poepoe, who heads the Hui Malama Mo`omomi, wanted to make sure that his not-for-profit organization would continue to manage and take care of Mo`omomi and its adjacent lands. Vanderbilt assured him that Molokai, and not Maui, will decide who will protect Mo`omomi.

Vanderbilt stressed that the Plan should be looked at carefully, because should there be conflicts between the General Policy Plan and the Molokai Community Plan, the General Plan will prevail. He said he will try to meet with the county planners to find a solution to catch up with the sections that could not be reviewed on time.


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