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Frequently Asked Questions for the Puna Community Development Plan planning phase.


What Are Community Development Plans?



The County of Hawai'i General Plan (see below), approved in 2005, established the Community Development Plan Program (CDP). Community Development Plans are intended to translate broad General Plan Goals, Policies, and Standards into Implementation Actions as they apply to specific geographical regions around the Island. CDPs are also intended to serve as a forum for community input into land-use, delivery of government services and any other matters relating to the planning area.


Who are the participants in the Puna community development plan?



Participants in the Puna CDP include:

  • The Steering Committee, composed of citizen volunteers selected and approved by the County and serving in an official capacity, subject to Sunshine law
  • The Working Groups, composed of citizen volunteers from Puna district
  • County of Hawai'i staff from the Planning Department and the Hawai'i County Resource Center, as well as consultants contracted by the County to assist with certain portions of the CDP process.
  • All the citizens and organizations of Puna who participated in small group meetings throughout the district, who have attended other CDP meetings, workshops and presentations, who have offered feedback, suggestions and other forms of community input to the Puna CDP process by mail, phone, e-mail or in person.


What is the County of Hawai`i general plan?



The General Plan is the County’s long range planning policy document. Organized into 13 Elements, the Plan identifies broad Goals, Policies, and Standards relating to land use, conservation and protection of natural and historical resources, transportation, and public infrastructure on the Island of Hawai`i. The County Charter requires that a review of the General Plan be initiated every ten years. The County Council approved the most recent update of the Plan in February of 2005.


Must the county create CDPs for all the districts around the island?



It is not mandatory that there be a CDP for each region. The County of Hawaii's Department of Planning has begun the process of creating CDPs for two districts: Kona and Puna. The decision to begin the program with these two plans was based on the urgent need for regional planning, due to rapid growth taking place in those districts, according to the County Planning Department. CDPs for the other districts will follow. Preparation of the Kona Community Development Plan is already underway and is the County's pilot CDP to test new planning and community participation methods.


What geographical area will the Puna community development plan cover?



Puna CDP planning area

The Puna CDP will cover the Judicial District of Puna, which includes the communities in and near Pahoa, Kapoho, Keaau, Kurtistown, Glenwood, Mountain View, and Volcano.


Why doesn't the geographical area for the Puna CDP match the Puna district boundaries exactly?



For the most part, the CDP process works with the boundaries of the nine judicial districts of the island, not the nine legislative (county council representative) districts. There are also some exceptions to this depending on various factors such as infrastructure interconnections and how communities on or near district boundaries identify what district they feel most a part of. For example, the Puna CDP follows the district boundaries with the exception of the Volcano area, which is included in the Puna CDP but actually belongs to the judicial district of Ka'u.


How will the Puna community development plan address Puna's needs?



The first task in developing the Puna CDP will be to invite the people living in the district to provide their own input regarding the needs for Puna. The Community will be asked how they foresee the future of Puna, how they want to manage growth, and their ideas for achieving it.


The completed Puna CDP will be action-oriented. It will identify a combination of land-use amendments, regulatory changes, budgetary items, public-private partnership building, and community-based implementation activities that will be needed to accomplish many kinds of goals.


The Puna CDP will address the 13 elements contained within the General Plan as they relate to Puna, integrating the main issues that had been identified in previous planning efforts for the district - for example, the creation or strengthening of village centers and a strategy for making infrastructure improvements in existing subdivisions.


Below is the list of General Plan Elements to be addressed:


  • Economic
  • Energy
  • Environmental Quality
  • Flooding and Natural Hazards
  • Historic Sites
  • Natural Beauty
  • Natural Resources and Shoreline
  • Housing
  • Public Facilities
  • Public Utilities
  • Recreation
  • Transportation
  • Land Use


How can the residents of Puna particpate in the development of the Puna community development plan?



There will be a variety of opportunities to participate throughout the process:


Kick-off Public Informational Meetings

The purpose of these meetings is to inform people of what the Puna CDP process will consist of and how they can participate in the planning process.

Community Meetings (March - April 2006)

The purpose of this series of small meetings is to go out into the community to hear from the entire range of people who have a stake in the future of Puna.

Steering Committee Meetings (March 2006 - March 2007)

Throughout the process, a Steering Committee made up of representatives of the community, will meet periodically to review and advise on plan products. To find out how to apply for committee appointment and learn more about the Steering Committee, attend one of the kick-off meetings, contact any of the Puna CDP Team members, or visit

Village Planning Workshops (June 2006)

The purpose of these workshops, to be held in the evening at four locations within Puna District, is to identify the desired form and character of village centers in Puna.

District-wide Meetings (July - August 2006)

The first of the district-wide meetings focuses on financing and phasing alternatives for infrastructure improvements in Puna's subdivisions. The second district-wide meeting brings these issues together with the proposed concepts for village centers and other ideas for the Puna Community Development Plan.



The Puna Community Development Plan:



The Process must inspire Vision. The Plan must require Action.




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