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Saturday, April 27, 2013
ALERT – Upcoming Votes on Exemption Bills
By News Release @ 12:22 PM :: 3769 Views :: Development, Land Use

ALERT – Upcoming Votes on Exemption Bills

News Release from Senator Laura Thielen April 25, 2013

If you are concerned about broad permit exemptions for developments or watering-down our laws in favor of large-scale development, then I recommend you contact your legislators and ask that they vote against the following two bills.

These bills just came out of Conference Committee and are moving to the floor for a final vote.

  • SB 1207: Exempts the Department of Transportation from any permitting or site plan approval requirements established for lands in the Conservation District, for any work involving submerged lands.

The Conservation District laws protect our environmental resources, but they also make sure the public has access to the ocean for cultural and recreational uses.  Many canoe clubs, surfers and fishers access the ocean via our harbors.

If DOT is exempt from the Conservation District Permits, they can develop with little regard for the rights of the public to access to the ocean.

  • SB 1171: Allows for a phased Archeological Inventory Survey for certain projects.

Road projects that span long distances may justify a phased survey.  But this bill allows a phased survey “where circumstances dictate that construction be done in stages.”  This is the same kind of broad, over-reaching exemption as the PLDC.  It’s unnecessary, and will have bad consequences.

This bill allows any large-scale private development in the heart of an area rife with burials – say Turtle Bay – could argue that since their financing is phased, their surveys should be phased too.

The problem is you need to design your open space areas and your developed areas around the survey.  If you survey in phases, you commit to a design that may actually disrupt the most important historic sites.

Tell your legislator to kill the bill, and come back next year with a narrow exemption that can be justified.

You can contact Legislators by email via the Web site.  You can find their email addresses here (and if you don’t know who yours is, you can enter your address, and it will pull up their names):

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/members/legislators.aspx?chamber=all

Please keep your testimony respectful – it’s much more effective, and your mother will be proud of you for being a better person.

If you want to voice your opinion on our final votes, do it now.

We may vote as early as Friday April 26 at a 6:00 p.m. session.

We could also vote on Tuesday, April 30 or Thursday May 2....

---30---

Related: HOT POTATO! SB 1171, Phased AIS

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