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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to frequently asked questions about the CDPs and the Hāmākua CDP

Most of your questions may be answered below.  More information about the Hāmākua CDP and community planning is available elsewhere on this web site.

What geographical area will the Hāmākua Community Development Plan cover?

The Hāmākua CDP will cover the Judicial Districts of Hāmākua and North Hilo, and rural South Hilo from its northern boundary south to Wainaku (the southern boundary is Kaiwiki Road and Hau Road at HWY 19).  The Hāmākua CDP planning area includes the communities of Ahualoa, Waipi‘o Valley, Kukuihaele, Honoka‘a, ‘O‘ōkala, Pa‘auilo, Laupāhoehoe, Pāpa‘aloa, Nīnole, Umauma, Wailea, Hakalau, Honomū, Pepe‘ekeō, Pāpa‘ikou, Pauka‘a, Wainaku, Kaiwiki and all of the other subdivisions and agricultural and conservation lands in between.  Please see the planning area map below.

Hamakua CDP Planning Area

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 the Hāmākua area, nor does it address the type of community enhancements and development that should occur.  Specific goals, objectives, policies, and actions, as well as detailed implementation strategies, 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.  [For more specific details about the legal effect of CDPs, see the Planning Director's May 1, 2008 memo to CDP Steering Committees.]


What, exactly, will be included in the Hāmākua 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 Hāmākua CDP will focus on elements that are the highest priority for the residents of Hāmākua, so the CDP will not address all elements equally.  In addition, the CDP will likely identify short, medium, and long term goals, objectives, and strategies.

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. 

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

One of the first steps in the CDP process will be to review all past planning efforts in Hāmākua.  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.  The CDP may address some of those issues and recommend collaboration with state and federal agencies during implementation.

When do we start, and how long will the planning process take?

Informational meetings, facilitation training workshops, and talk story training workshops are being held in September and October 2009.  The initial round of community input will then be invited between September and December 2009.  After the Steering Committee and planning consultant are selected (by early 2010), they will work with the rest of the Project Team to design the planning process.

 The Kona, Puna, and North and South Kohala CDPs have taken between 1.5 and 3.5 years to be completed.  The length of the process depends on many factors, but it is anticipated that the Hāmākua CDP will be completed in 2011.

How will the public be involved in creating the Hāmākua 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, community research groups, regional planning meetings, planning meetings for the population centers, and meetings specific to high priority issues.

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

Professional planning consultants will draft the CDP based on community input.  The primary responsibility of the Hāmākua 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 a groundswell of 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.  How well a CDP is implemented depends on several factors:

1) clarity and specificity in crafting the implementing actions;

2) feasibility of the implementing actions;

3) an inclusive process in developing the plan so that the community is aware and cares about the plan enough to become the "keepers of the flame";

4) sufficient indicators to monitor progress and effectiveness of implementation.

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 Hāmākua CDP, and where is the money coming from?

In fiscal year 2009-2010, a total of $411,000 was budged for the Hāmākua CDP.  The bulk of the funding is earmarked for contracted community liaisons, planning assistants, and consultants, but other expenses include communications, meeting spaces, supplies, training, and education.

If you have any further questions, please address them to the Hāmākua CDP project manager: 

LeAna Gloor,  or by phone at 961-8308.     

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