(BIVN) – The public is invited to participate in the next phase of the Hawaiʻi County General Plan Comprehensive Review and Update.
From a news release by the County of Hawaiʻi:
The County of Hawaiʻi Planning Department expresses its gratitude to the communities and stakeholders who actively participated in the extensive public outreach process so far during the Hawaiʻi County General Plan (GP) Comprehensive Review and Update. This comprehensive review, initiated in 2015 by the Planning Department, sought input from the island-wide community, stakeholders, numerous County and State agencies, Community Development Plan (CDP) Action Committees, and the Hawai’i County Council. The valuable insights gathered from the community outreach activities have been instrumental in shaping the recommended draft.
The General Plan holds significant importance for every resident of Hawaiʻi Island, as it establishes the vision, policies, and actions necessary to enhance the overall quality of life. It addresses crucial topics such as active living, climate change, quality jobs, housing choice and affordability, local economy, and traffic. As part of the ongoing planning process, the Planning Department has created a public engagement plan. Residents and stakeholders are urged to actively engage in these critical discussions.
The opportunities for engagement include the following:
The Planning Department will be hosting a recorded video series on the Department’s YouTube channel.
Public Informational Workshops have been scheduled for:
September 30, 2023, at the West Hawaiʻi Civic Center, Building G from 2-4 pm
October 7, 2023, at Auntie Sally’s Luau Hale from 1:30-3:30 pm
The GP Team will be conducting Roadshow Presentations. These are opportunities for community groups to request a short presentation at their regular meetings.
The GP Team will have informational booths at various planned community events, like the Revitalize Puna event.
Online workshops have been scheduled for:
• October 10 from 5-7 pm
• October 18 from 5-7pm
“Listening to and understanding the diverse perspectives of our communities is essential for creating a General Plan that supports a sustainable and thriving Hawaiʻi Island,” emphasized Zendo Kern, Director of the County of Hawaiʻi Planning Department.
Following the conclusion of the public comment period, planners will carefully evaluate and incorporate the feedback received into a final recommended draft, marking the beginning of the adoption process. The final recommended draft will be forwarded to the Windward and Leeward Planning Commissions for separate hearings. All members of the community are warmly welcomed and encouraged to participate in the process, offering their valuable testimonies during the hearings. The County Council, which is responsible for the final review and adoption, will also provide an opportunity for public testimony.
“The General Plan gives our community the opportunity to navigate the future of our island home in a way that is sustainable and truly in the best interest of us all,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “We hope to see many minds come together to ensure a plan that is as vibrant and diverse as the communities we serve.”
To stay informed about upcoming events, progress, and the overall process, interested individuals can sign up for the Department’s eNews. For more information, please contact the County of Hawaiʻi Planning Department at 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3, Hilo, HI 96720. You can reach them via phone at (808) 961-8288 or email at GeneralPlan@hawaiicounty.gov.