|Steering Committee and public met consultants helping with the Ka`u Community Development Plan.|
Photo by Julia Neal.
THE STEERING COMMITTEE and public, last night, met new consultants helping to write the Ka`u Community Development Plan. The steering committee voted to meet monthly until the draft plan comes out and talked about wanting more participation in writing the plan. County planning department staff and consultants are using data gathered from numerous talk-stories and community meetings held since 2008 to help write the plan. They are meeting with stakeholders in Ka`u to gather information and lay out the possibilities for the direction of the community in a draft plan that could be ready for public review early next year. The staff and consultants are using community goals and a vision statement as a filter through which land use classifications, zonings, and ownership are studied to come up with possible plans for the future of communities in Ka`u.
|Land ownership around Nani Kahuku `Aina.|
Planner Ron Whitmore said that whether land is changed from Conservation to Urban designation on the Nani Kahuku property near the ocean is a major decision. Once the change is made, the future would be set for urbanization. There was discussion as to whether the resort community would be considered “a new town” for Ka`u.
Regarding `Aina Koa Pono, Whitmore answered questions about requiring an Environmental Impact Statement by saying there is no trigger for the county to require one. The proposed refinery up Wood Valley Road is agricultural processing, which is allowed by the state and county on agricultural land, he said.
Steering committee members Michelle Galimba, Loren Heck and Donna Ambrose said they want the steering committee to be more active in the process, reviewing data being used by the consultants and also involving the community in the ongoing process.
A number of people during the public input periods said they were frustrated, saying they want to be more involved in the planning issues before the community.
|Ope`ape`a, the Hawaiian hoary bat.|
VOLCANO ENCAUSTIC ARTIST JOHN MATSUSHITA will demonstrate painting with beeswax today during the gathering of the Western Apicultural Society at Hapuna Prince Beach Hotel. The public is invited to take part in the second annual Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge tonight. The public is also invited to attend the beekeepers conference, which started Sept. 12 and continues through Sept. 15. The main focus of the meetings will be apiary recovery following assaults by Varroa mites and small hive beetles. During this time, beekeepers are expected to visit some apiaries in Ka`u.
After the conference, Larry Connor, Ph.D., a beekeeping columnist and Wicwas Press publisher, will present a day-long masters' workshop in Hawi on Sept. 16 on rebuilding the apiary after losses.
ARTISTS CAN COMPETE for the cover of the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce's Directory 2012 by bringing their art to the Ka`u Federal Credit Union in Na`alehu on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Artists are to provide the name of the piece, the size, price and artist’s name. Entries are limited to one per person. Art can be in any medium. Three cash prizes will be awarded at the End of Show Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Ka`u Federal Credit Union from noon to 2 p.m. For more information, call Wanda Aus at 929-9139.