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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to frequently asked questions about CDPs and the Ka`u CDP

Many though not all of your questions may be answered below.  More information about the Ka`u CDP and community planning is available elsewhere on this web site.

Why create a CDP? Doesn't the General Plan already provide sufficient guidance?

The General Plan does not provide detailed guidance about whether, where, or how to develop Ka`u, nor does it address the type of community enhancements and development that should occur.  Specific goals, policies, and actions will be included in the CDP.

In addition, the General Plan was not developed with significant community input.  CDPs are residents' opportunity to actively participate in planning for their communities.

Are Community Development Plans legal documents?

The General Plan requires that a Community Development Plan shall be adopted by the County Council as an “ordinance”, giving the CDP the force of law.  This is in contrast to plans created in the past, which were adopted by “resolution” and therefore served only as guidelines or reference documents to decision-makers.

What geographical area will the Ka`u community development plan cover?

The Ka`u CDP will cover the Judicial District of Ka`u, not including the Volcano Golf and Country Club, which was part of the Puna CDP planning area.  The Ka`u CDP planning area includes Wood Valley, Pahala, Punalu`u, Na`alehu, Discovery Harbour, Mark Twain Estates, Waiohinu, South Point, Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, Hawaiian Ranchos, and all of the other subdivisions and agricultural and conservation lands in between.

What, exactly, will be included in the Ka`u CDP?

CDPs are intended to cover the thirteen elements of the General Plan: Economic, Energy, Environmental Quality, Flooding and Natural Hazards, Historic Sites, Natural Beauty, Natural Resources and Shoreline, Housing, Public Facilities, Public Utilities, Recreation, Transportation, and Land Use.  However, the Ka`u CDP will focus on elements that are the highest priority for the residents of Ka`u, so the CDP will not address all elements equally.

Chapter 15 of the General Plan specifies that the CDP shall identify appropriate government actions related to:

  • Regulatory actions, including the zoning, subdivision, flood control, grading, sign, and building codes and how they are administered and enforced
  • Incentive measures, including property tax exemptions, expedited permitting, and discounted fees
  • Acquisition priorities, including the purchase of property and development rights
  • Capital budgeting priorities for public facility projects likes parks, community centers, roads, water, waste water, and public safety
  • Development/redevelopment, including affordable housing projects.

It is anticipated that the Ka`u CDP may contain:

  • Plans for Pahala, Na`alehu, and Ocean View, including land use policy maps and plans for roadways, parks, public facilities, and other infrastructure
  • Conservation plans to protect the coastline, watersheds, forests, agricultural land, view plains, historical and cultural sites, and other natural and cultural resources
  • A plan for community-based economic development.

We already have plans in place.  Why do we need another plan?

One of the first steps in the CDP process was to review all past planning efforts in Ka`u.  Every effort will be made to not duplicate past planning efforts and to utilize relevant elements of past plans.

How will the CDP address issues that are outside the County's jurisdiction?

Relevant state and federal agencies will be consulted regarding issues outside the County's jurisdiction, like health, education, highways, and national parks, and the CDP may address some of those issues and recommend collaboration with state and federal agencies during implementation.

How will the public be involved in creating the Ka`u CDP?

CDPs are designed to reflect community values, vision, and priorities.  Therefore, the County will work hard to involve community residents and others who have a stake in the region in the planning process.  This will likely include surveys, small group "talk story" meetings, structured interviews, regional planning meetings, and meetings specific to high priority issues like conservation and community-based economic development.

Significant effort and resources will be used to make sure that the diversity of residents and stakeholders in Ka`u provide input to the planning process.

The primary responsibility of the Ka`u CDP Steering Committee is to make sure the CDP truly reflects the will of the community.

How will the County make sure public meetings are productive and people aren't allowed to be disruptive and abusive?

At all CDP events and meetings, "Aloha Etiquette" will be observed.  This includes:

  • Respect and aloha everyone
  • One person speaks at a time -- wait until you are invited to speak, don't interrupt, and don't have side conversations while others are talking
  • Be clear and concise
  • Listen to understand
  • It's OK to disagree
  • Honor time limits
  • Maintain an open and positive attitude.

How will the CDP reconcile strongly opposing views?

All ideas will be considered, but consensus is built by discussing differing points of view and arriving at agreements that the majority of the community feels they can “live with.” The ideas that seem to have broad consensus will be included in the CDP.  The ideas over which no agreement can be reached may be set-aside for further dialogue with the community, and certain issues may be too controversial to be decidedly addressed in the CDP.

Who "approves" the CDP when it is completed?

After the Steering Committee recommends approval of the CDP, it is forwarded to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation before being considered by the County Council.  Only the County Council has the authority to adopt the CDP by passing it as an ordinance into law.  The County Council may modify or amend the CDP before enacting it by ordinance, but it shall give the Steering Committee and the Planning Commission an opportunity to review and comment upon substantive amendments and modifications before final adoption of the CDP.  For the CDP to be enacted, the Mayor must also sign the CDP ordinance.

Is it possible that, after we go through the planning process, the County Council does not approve the CDP?

Yes, but with broad input and resolve to address conflicts throughout the planning process, there should be strong community support for the CDP, as has been the case with the first four CDPs. Council members will also be encouraged to participate throughout the process.

Who will ensure that the CDP, once approved, will be implemented according to the people's true intent?

Once the CDP is adopted, an Action Committee will be formed to steward the CDP implementation process.

Once the CDP is adopted as “ordinance,” can it be modified? If so, how?

Once the CDP is adopted as an ordinance, the procedures for subsequently amending the CDP would follow the same procedures required for amending ordinances.  The Action Committee that is established after adoption of the CDP will review and make recommendations on interim amendments to the CDP.

A comprehensive review of the CDP shall commence within ten years from the date of adoption of the CDP.

How much will it cost to create the Ka`u CDP, and where is the money coming from?

In fiscal year 2008-2009, the Planning Department budget included $357,000 for the Ka`u CDP, and the Department of Research and Development budget included over $140,000.  The bulk of the funding is earmarked for contracted community liaisons, planning assistants, and consultants, but other expenses include communications, meeting space, supplies, and training and education.

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Upcoming Events
South Kohala CDP Special Meeting on the General Plan Comprehensive Review Jun 26, 2017 05:00 PM - 08:00 PM — Waikoloa Village Association Community Room
North Kohala CDP Action Committee Meeting Jul 10, 2017 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM — North Kohala Senior Center
Puna CDP Action Committee Meeting Jul 11, 2017 03:00 PM - 06:00 PM — Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility
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