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Document could fix Maui’s planning woes

By Staff | Jan 7, 2010

What does the future hold for West Maui? Residents can learn about possible land use scenarios at a meeting Monday.

The Planning Department will present to the County Council Planning Committee and public the draft Maui Island Plan 2030 at a meeting on Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. at Lahaina Civic Center.

Credit the county for holding hearings in communities around the island to allow residents to comment on this wide-sweeping plan.

According to the county, the Maui Island Plan 2030 will establish a proactive planning process by establishing urban and rural growth areas that indicate where development is intended and will be supported.

Growth areas will translate to less costly services, reduced commuting, protection of community character and the preservation of agriculture, open space and cultural and natural resources.

Drafted with community input, the plan outlines goals, policies, programs and actions based on an assessment of current and future needs and available resources.

Once the plan has been adopted, the document will become the principal tool for the county and its citizens to use when evaluating public and private projects and their impacts on land use, the economy, environment, infrastructure and cultural resources.

The draft plan recommends goals missing in Maui residents truly want to see: smart growth, protection of small towns and rural character, affordable housing, protection of watersheds and coastal resources, economic diversification and integration of land use and infrastructure planning.

Could this plan put Maui on the road to sensible, effective planning, or will it be cast aside — like the equally lofty community plans — by the pro-development Planning Commission and County Council?

The draft plan is available for review on the county website on the Planning Department page. Have a look and present your views to the County Council.