League at the Legislature
Results of Consensus on Primary Elections
Bicentennial Scripts Available
Small Business Hawaii Joins Forces with LWV/Hawaii in Vacancy Study
Debates Conference Held (Sheila Gilbertson)
From the President (Anne Lee)
Action on Education (Libby Oshiyama & Marion Saunders)
Letts Resigns from Board
Hawai'i County LWV Adopts Positions on Makalawena... (Dorothy Doudna)
Hawai'i County LWV Adopts Positions on Makalawena and Shoreline Access
The Hawaii County League is patting itself on the back these days for its part in helping to preserve Makalawena Beach on the Kona coast of the Big Island. The League had been studying beaches and shoreline access and had learned that every single one of the few beaches remaining on the Kona coast - of which Makalawena was the largest - was the subject of a rezoning request by developers. The Bishop Estate, owner of Makalawena, wanted to build 1,200 hotel rooms in two 7-storey units; 1,350 condominium units; and an 18-hole golf course.
The second position adopted was: Action to support public access to the shoreline on the Big Island. In coming to this position, members were concerned that Hawaii County does not have a shoreline access ordinance. Their belief is that a case-bycase negotiation between developers and the County without an ordinance was not sufficient to protect the public right to have access to the shoreline.
Leaguers held a joint Hilo-Kona consensus meeting on November 3, 1987., which led to the adoption of two positions. The first position was: Action to support the preservation of the Makalawena Beach area in its pristine state for future generations. In adopting this position members were of the opinion that if Makalawena were developed it would harm the already endangered bird species on the preservation-area pond directly behind the beach They were also concerned to protect the beach because it is an important recreational and livelihood resource for local residents in an area that does not have other similar resources.
Following adoption of the consensus positions, League members testified before the Planning Commission and the County Council's Planning Committee. We also networked with other organizations and cosponsored public meetings with the Sierra Club.
As a result of all these efforts, the "Friends of Makalawena" was formed, and at a February 8 Planning Committee meeting in Hilo, 52 people signed up to testify in opposition to an ordinance providing for the change in land designation needed for Bishop Estate's plans. This kind of turnout ultimately persuaded Bishop Estate to withdraw its request.
We know that battle is not over yet, but we feel encouraged that we have won the first round.