Waimea Town Meeting Thurs., Sept. 5, To Help Map Our Community’s & Island’s Future – What We Want It To Be Like In 10-15-25 Years
There are no crystal balls but the Hawai’i County General Plan update, currently in progress and open to community input, and the energy future of our district and island will top the agenda for Waimea Community Association’s Town Meeting this Thurs., Sept. 5, 2019, 5:15-7 p.m. in Waimea School Cafeteria. These two topics are complex and far-reaching and urgently warrant community awareness and input, said WCA Director Nancy CarrSmith, who will facilitate the meeting.
As always, everyone is welcome to Waimea Town Meetings; there is no charge but membership is urged to support ongoing association activities.
The meeting will begin with Hawai’i County Planning Director Michael Yee and the department’s Manager of Long Range Planning, April Suprenant, providing a brief presentation on the recently released Draft General Plan, which is available for public review and comment. The plan can be found here: (http://www.hiplanningdept.com/general-plan/gp2040/).
Since February 2015, the Planning Department has been working on a comprehensive review of the General Plan, which is the county’s long-range policy for the comprehensive physical, economic, environmental, and socio-cultural wellbeing of the island. As such, it focuses on a county-wide scale, using a 25-year planning horizon. It establishes county policy and prioritizes implementation actions needed to achieve the long-term goals. This is important because all public improvements and land use decisions must be consistent with the General Plan.
During this review, community goals were confirmed, research was conducted to understand existing conditions and historic trends, and policies were explored and incorporated, including those in the Community Development Plans (CDPs).
The planning department has held a series of community Speakouts around the island including one here in Waimea Sept. 10, 2019 to solicit comments, and they will be asking for more community input at the town meeting. Comments may also be submitted in writing to the Planning Department. Ultimately, both the Leeward and Windward County Planning Commissions and then County Council will review, finalize and adopt the updated General Plan.
Next on the agenda will be the introduction of HELCO’s recently appointed President Sharon Suzuki, who with Hawai’i Island Director Kevin Waltjen, will provide an update on the utility’s programs and services and Integrated Resource Planning – what lies ahead. This is extremely important to what our energy future may be with the transition to alternative energy sources.
As always, Waimea County Council members Val Poindexter and Dr. Tim Richards will participate as will Waimea Community Policing Officer May Lee with a community safety update.
Other brief presentations will include Waimea Outdoor Circle as the spotlighted not-for-profit for the month, and a sneak peak at The Fall Festival Oct. 12, 2019, and Paniolo Preservation Society’s “Old Hawai’i On Horseback” historical pageant at Waiki’i Ranch, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Sat., Sept. 14, 2019.
Also as always, steaming hot Starbucks coffee and cookies will be provided.