Kaua`i REALTORS® And Residents Work Together To Shape the Island’s New General Plan

Kaua`i is nicknamed “The Garden Island” because of its abundance of tropical rainforest. In fact, it’s known for being one of the least commercially developed of the Hawaiian islands, which makes the current initiative of redoing the island’s development plan a delicate undertaking.

The Kaua`i County Planning Department actually hasn’t touched the existing general plan (Kaua`i KaKou) since 2000. However, the island’s population continues to expand, placing heavier demands on the island’s infrastructure. As a result, the area is also struggling with traffic congestion and the need to develop affordable housing to accommodate new growth.

The majority of the population boom is actually coming from locals whose families are expanding. In a recent article in The Garden Island (tgi), Mike Dahilig, Kaua`i’s Planning Director, says “People want to have families, and the concept of handling that kind of growth tends to be forgotten in the context of looking at how the community is changing.” “Because that growth, coupled with someone who is moving here, they both need the same sewer, water and services.”

The Kaua`i Board of REALTORS® (KBR) has been taking an active role with the Kaua`i County Planning Department as the County undergoes the process of reviewing the Kaua`i general plan. For the past two years, KBR has helped to gather community input – asking residents what their vision for the island’s future is and communicating concerns to the planning department as resident’s voice their concerns about island preservation.

The feedback KBR shared with the planning department helped to shape the first plan draft that was then submitted to the Kaua`i County Council. The council agreed that it was time to significantly redo the general plan and set a public hearing for October 4th – allowing the community an additional opportunity to weigh in before a final plan is put into place.

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