Here’s the latest scoops on the “Farms, Not Dumps” Campaign to protect Lualualei Valley agricultural land in the Waianae moku from being rezoned to industrial. The Land Use Commission (LUC) is holding a series of hearings before they decide on the rezoning of this farmland into a “purple spot” industrial zone.
We were happy that we were able to get the hearing moved to Kapolei as Honolulu is unfairly far for Wai`anae residents to trek during work hours. Unfortunately the room in Kapolei was tiny, just like the one on Beretania Street. The room was literally overflowing into the hallway to accommodate all those who came to participate.
The testimony was solid–by my count, we had about 15 of our guys testify, with only 4 people testifying in support of the project. We delievered an amazing stack of petitions, with 1,001 of your names saying NO to the proposed industrial park! Special mahalo to everyone who came out and testified. Candace Fujikane took everyone by surprise with awesome blown up maps and interesting testimony on how unirrigated land is given “unproductive” ratings, but when irrigated, can jump up to a B-classification (the second highest!). My favorite part though was when the developer’s attorney was really aggressively asking Candace questions, and she stood her ground! He asked given her testimony “Do you know if the parcel has irrigation?” and she said, “No, but your report is requesting the use of 22,000 gallons a day, and that could be used for farming.” ZING! Bet he didn’t think she did her homework on that. We also had hilarious testimony from Aunty Georgiette Meyers who talked about the fight in the ’80s to protect this same parcel from the development of a golf course. That was when the Higa farmers were essentially pushed out because they couldn’t afford the raised rent. She made the important point that they stopped farming, not because the land is unproductive, (in fact they produced 3,000 crates of veggies a month!) but because they were made to stop.
Mahalo pumehana to all who came out! It was an incredible, inspiring and amazing day!