HCDA Not Exempt from Land-Use Controls or Sunshine Laws

By Ching, Anthony Jh | Honolulu Star - Advertiser, August 22, 2012 | Go to article overview

HCDA Not Exempt from Land-Use Controls or Sunshine Laws


Ching, Anthony Jh, Honolulu Star - Advertiser


Misinformed commentators have suggested recently that the Hawaii Community Development Authority is flouting state and county land use controls in "a backdoor approach" to developing land.

The opposite is the case, as the HCDA operates in a completely transparent manner that encourages public participation at all stages of planning and development.

The authority also strives to be completely compliant with land use and environmental regulations at all levels of government.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority was created by the Legislature in 1976 to establish and administer comprehensive community development rules on building, planning, zoning and land use for community development districts. To date, the Legislature has established two urban community development districts - Kakaako and Kalaeloa, the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station. The HCDA has been working on community development plans for each of these two districts through a process of intensive public participation. More than 80 community groups have participated in formulating these plans.

In implementing HCDA's community development plans, the authority does not exempt itself from federal, state or county regulations. Besides complying with the authority's zoning rules, projects within the development districts must adhere to county building-permit and subdivision requirements, as well as shoreline management, state historic preservation and federal and state environmental controls.

Moreover, the HCDA fosters active public participation and interaction with landowners and developers through public hearings and the community master-planning process. By conducting open houses and establishing a web consultation portal, HCDA has made it possible for residents and business people to express their ideas and aspirations toward achieving a real community.

Another misconception concerns HCDA's mandate to work with public agencies and private developers to create "affordable" housing. …

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