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New county bill streamlines subdivision projects

By Staff | Aug 26, 2010

“I want to thank the members of our construction trades, hotel industry representatives, small and large landowners, professional planners and unions that supported our efforts to amend this law. I also appreciate the council’s review and passage of the bill,” said Mayor Charmaine Tavares.

WAILUKU — Mayor Charmaine Tavares last week signed into law a bill that her administration authored to streamline the subdivision process.

The county hopes the action expedites hundreds of construction trade workers’ return to work.

Introduced to the County Council in September 2009 at the request of Tavares, the bill creates more efficiency and predictability in the subdivision process by allowing subdivisions that are consistent with the land use designations and meet all other subdivision requirements to be approved without having to obtain a state land use district boundary amendment, community plan amendment and/or change in zoning.

“In the past, subdivision applicants found the requirement confusing, and many projects were delayed by this unnecessary red tape,” Mayor Tavares said.

“This amendment will allow a number of projects, both large and small-scale, to move forward without having to go through additional legislative land use amendments, which are expensive and time-consuming.

“What this important step means is that projects can move forward and construction workers can get back to work. It should be emphasized that this is work that otherwise would have been held back while lengthy land use processes were dealt with before construction could even begin.”

Requiring subdivisions to continue to be consistent with the state land use district, general plan, community plan and zoning has not changed.

Prior to the amendment, the law required that various land use designations for the project parcel match exactly, which often resulted in extensive delays if even one portion of the property did not have matching designations.

Construction trade officials have testified that the new ordinance is an important step in getting construction trade workers back to work sooner, since there are several major hotel projects that would otherwise have to go through a lengthy land use amendment process before starting construction.

Major hotel projects could employ as many as 400 carpenters and hundreds more from other building trades.