(Mahalo to the talented Mark Fiesta for the picture)
The latest scoops from legal intern Tyler on legal proceedings around the push to protect agricultural and preservation lands in Waianae currently threatened with industrialization. Fenceline to farms and homes, an industral park and new landfill are proposed on this area in the middle of one of Hawai’i’s largest communities of Native Hawaiians. It’s a justice thing, and it’s a kākou thing!
We last left you with some tremendous victories following the Land Use Commission’s granting our Motion to Intervene. This means, as you may remember, that we get to sit at the big kids table and play hardball. As dates are solidified and we proceed, our first act as official Intervenors is to order fancy name plates for our desks that say “Intevenor” on them. That was a joke. They say “Super Intervenor.”
All jokes aside, our first OFFICIAL act was to submit a Statement of Position. It’s essentially a formality that lets everyone at the big kids table know what we’re playing for. Environmental and cultural justice. Here’s what we believe to be true:
Tropic’s proposed development ignores:
1) The cultural significance of Wai‘anae
2) The Wai‘anae Sustainable Communities Plan
3) The characterization of Urban land
Think of this as a game of Monopoly. Tropic Lands owns a parcel not on the game board. Let’s call it Insensitive Avenue. They really want to be in the game, because they believe they can make a nice chunk of change. But they can ONLY do this on Insensitive Avenue. So what do they do? They cry “JOBS!” and then they ask the state Land Use Commission (LUC) if they can amend the rules and put Insensitive Avenue on the game board.
The problem is: If we let Insensitive Avenue on the game board, then we MUST put Greedy Place and The Capitalism Railroad into play. And in fact, this is the purpose of the rules. The reason Community Plans and Zoning Regulations are made? To prevent unruly development in a community and to maintain balance. Not to mention mediating ongoing insensitivity to cultural concerns.
We understand the need for economic development. We understand the need for jobs in Wai‘anae.
In actuality, all we’re asking is that you put your industrial park in an area that is compatible with your development plans. Like… Maybe put the industrial park in an already industrialized area? That seems fairly logical to me! How about you folks reading this?
This area is Preservation/Agriculture Land. Let’s keep it that way. There are some incredible alternatives being proposed by communities members–everything from a gateway park to an agricultural incubator.
Now that the big kids know what we’re playing for and why, we gotta show them what we’re playing with. The Scottish Terrier. Or the thimble! Joke. In fact, we’re playing with people who are experts in their fields, and we believe their expert testimonies will expose to the Commission some undeniable truths behind this bad proposal.