Plenty of Questions

Planning Commission requests status and updates from the County.

By Brandon Roberts

With the Abbey Mayer confirmation hearing held simultaneously across town, the Feb. 27 Molokai Planning Commission (MoPC) agenda was short and sweet.

The bi-weekly meeting held at the Mitchell Pauole Center had one main item on the agenda, approval of a renovation on the future business of Maka’s Takeout, on the corner of Mohala and Alohi Streets. The commission voted unanimously to approve a ventilation system for the new building.

During Maka’s hearing, questions about permit distinctions and standard procedures were raised by the commissioners.

“It is a learning process for us all,” Chairman DeGray Vanderbilt said.

Vanderbilt is apprehensive about the lack of procedural consistency between the Maui Planning Board and the MoPC. He made a request for a procedural manual on the interaction between the two agencies.

“We, as a commission, need to understand the process,” Vice Chair Steve Chaikin said in concurrence with Vanderbilt.

Additional Issues

Vanderbilt said that the commission had submitted their comments to the La’au EIS by the Feb. 22 deadline. He also stated that the United States Geological Survey honored the MoPC request, and put in comment to the EIS.

Vanderbilt is concerned with the absence of past MoPC minutes dating back to Dec. 8, 2007. The minutes are to be provided by the county within 30 days.

Vanderbilt said “too much historical information and institutional knowledge” is missing when the commission is unable to refer to past statements and testimony.

The Liquor Commission notified Vanderbilt that they will be on Molokai March 13. This information was published in the Maui News but not on Molokai and Vanderbilt asked that these visits be advertised on Molokai.

A request was submitted for a written report and timeline from the Planning Department in regards to the new Molokai Community Plan. “We need a handle on where this thing is going,” Vanderbilt said.

Vanderbilt sought the status of Molokai Properties Limited (MPL) plans for the Kaluakoi Hotel. During a site analysis back in 2006, County Planner Nancy McPherson said that MPL must do an Environmental Assessment (EA) before it can come before the planning commission because of shoreline concerns. McPherson said the Kaluakoi EA could be submitted by April.

MoPC will hold its next meeting at 12:30 p.m. on March 12 at the Mitchell Pauole Center.


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