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Maui County Planning Process Needs Improvement

Tamara Paltin

February 13, 2014
Lahaina , Maui Weekly

I can relate to the letter writer's frustrations with the updating, implementation and enforcement of community plans here in Maui County, as well as the role of the Land Use Committee (The Maui News "Letters," Feb. 4 and 6).

I have been waiting for the West Maui Community Plan update for quite awhile, and I believe South Maui and the other districts will have a longer wait than West Maui.

While we wait, more and more developments are being approved, which is not necessarily bad, but I thought the purpose of these plans was to be the principal tool we use when evaluating projects and their impacts.

I believe having five to six different planning directors in the past 20 years is a contributing factor to all of these issues. Perhaps we should look into a Maui County Charter amendment allowing for a professional managing director to be hired that doesn't change with each administration (instead of appointed)--similar to how the personnel director is chosen. That way there can be some measure of continuity and accountability as we transition from administration to administration.

As far as the Land Use Committee facilitating development--we really need to see, and possibly implement (depending on how accurate they are), the results of traffic and development impact fees as soon as possible, so new development can pay its fair share for infrastructure needed to support the addition of these new projects on our existing communities.

I would like to know what the 200 to 250 items on the Planning Department's laundry list are. I would also like to see more effective processes and transparency for community collaboration in regard to the General Plan/Community Plan updates and implementation.



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