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Community Development Plan for South Kohala in action

<p>Members of the SKCDP meet on Dec. 28. PHOTO BY CATHEY TARLETON | SPECIAL TO NORTH HAWAII NEWS</p>

Members of the SKCDP meet on Dec. 28. PHOTO BY CATHEY TARLETON | SPECIAL TO NORTH HAWAII NEWS

The South Kohala Community Development Plan is alive and doing pretty well, nurtured along by its current all-volunteer action committee, which meets monthly in rotating locations. At last week’s meeting at Waikoloa School, the members discussed agenda topics, and heard presentations from the North Kohala CDP Action Committee and the “AOK” (Anekona, Ouli, Kanehoa) volunteer fire department.

Action Committee members John Hoover-Puako, Michael Fischer-Waikoloa, John Mueller, Kit Roehrig, Jojo Tanimoto-Kawaihae, Deanne Bugado-Planning Department, and Councilwoman Margaret Wille, (as a member of the public), were in attendance. They shared announcements including the new Waikoloa Hele-On bus service (route map posted at www.waikoloa.org) and Puako’s informal “Randy Ranger” reef education program in place. A number of procedural issues were reviewed, including corporation council, sub-committee and group liaison responsibilities and Capital Improvement Projects (CIP).

The SKCDP Action Committee had recommended three CIP’s: a Puako wastewater treatment study, Waikoloa regional park and community center (Hawaii Riverbend LLC), and Waimea sidewalk and bikeways improvements and others, none of which were funded, apparently due to communication issues. Wille hopes to help correct any disconnect in future.

“I am delighted to work through the Planning Department, and to do it in whatever way will work,” said Wille.

The group also heard a special presentation by “AOK” members, who are fundraising to build a maintenance facility. A neighboring landowner has agreed to a 99-year lease on a 3-acre lot for $1 per year, and Hawaii Community Foundation/ Richard Smart Fund allocated a $9,000 grant for the project’s planning phase. The facility will be donated to Hawaii County when complete.

Members of the North Kohala CDP Action Committee shared a map of North Hawaii, indicating approximate locations for proposed “reliability/redundancy loops” for HELCO energy transmissions to the growing North Kohala region. According to NKCDP Action Committee representative Susan Fischer, the power lines will transverse and therefore impact areas in both North and South Kohala.

The next SKCDP Action Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 25 in Waimea.

The SKCDP is one of seven CDPs island-wide, mandated by the Hawaii County General Plan, intended to implement plans for the future on a District level. North Kohala, Kona, Ka’u, Puna, Hilo and Hamakua also have CDPs. The SKCDP was processed through the extensive two-year Community Readiness Program, CDP Steering Committee meetings, focus groups, community-wide meetings and public hearings.

Along the way, the decision was made to have four regional sub-sections—for Waimea, Waikoloa, Puako and Kawaihae—in order to best serve their unique needs and interests. The SKCDP was adopted as an ordinance and signed into law by then-Mayor Harry Kim in November, 2008.

Since then, the steering committee has been replaced by an Action Committee, through a nine-month application process, vetted by the Planning Commission and approved by current Mayor Billy Kenoi. The Action Committee is intended to help put into action those future plans detailed in the 100+ page SKCDP. Volunteer representatives from each region attend monthly meetings in rotating locations.

Detailed information is available at www.HawaiiCountyCDP.info