Public Land Development Corporation Concluding Statewide Public Hearings on Proposed New Hawaii Administrative Rules

Public Land Development Corporation to Conclude Public Hearings on Proposed New Administrative Rules – Agency is subject to state and federal environmental, historic preservation laws.


The Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC) this week will conclude statewide public hearings to obtain community input on the adoption of new Hawai‘i Administrative Rules (HAR) affecting the PLDC and potentially small businesses.

Lloyd Haraguchi, executive director for the PLDC, stated: “Our vision is to improve and ensure that public land is maintained for the people of Hawai‘i; and to create public-private partnership that yield economic, environmental or social benefits and be culturally sensitive and appropriate for the communities they serve.”

Haraguchi noted that many people attending the hearings to-date have misconceptions about why the PLDC was established and how it observes environmental laws.

He explained: “The PLDC is not exempt from federal laws, state environmental impact laws, nor state historic preservation laws. The PLDC is committed to working with county zoning and permitting requirements to ensure that its projects conform to county guidelines. PLDC is committed to doing what is pono for the people and the state; always being sensitive to the environment and culture of Hawai‘i.”

One of the public concerns that has been raised was that the PLDC may waive its rules. However he said this provision ONLY applies to Chapter 301, Rules of Practice and Procedure, and is in place to enable the PLDC Board to have greater flexibility in accepting testimony from the public. It does not apply to Chapter 302, Public Land Development Program, nor Chapter 303, Project Facility Program.

Haraguchi said one frequent question that has been raised is whether OHA will receive any of the revenue from PLDC projects on ceded lands.

“The answer is yes. Lands under the PLDC are subject to the same requirements regarding payments to OHA as are other state lands.”

The PLDC was created by the state Legislature to help generate additional revenues for Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) by developing under-utilized or unused public land; this revenue-generating ability also exists within other state agency/department, such as the Department of Education or county governments.

Haraguchi said that community involvement and input is being sought on development proposals for any project to address the issues and concerns of the community in order to improve the communities that it serves.

Remaining public hearings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the following times and locations:

MOLOKA‘I: Monday, August 27, at Mitchell Pau‘ole Community Center, 90 Ainoa St., Kaunakakai, HI 96748;

O‘AHU: Wednesday, August 29, at Department of Land and Natural Resources, Kalanimoku Building, Land Board Conference Room 132, 1151 Punchbowl St., Honolulu, HI 96813; and

KAUA‘I: Friday, August 31, at Elsie H. Wilcox Elementary School, 4319 Hardy St., Lihu‘e, HI 96766.

Hearings have already been held in Hilo, Kona, and on Maui. A news release to announce the schedule of hearings was first issued on August 9, 2012.

All interested persons are urged to attend the public hearing in their area to present relevant information and individual opinion for PLDC to consider. Persons unable to attend or wishing to present additional comments may e-mail comments to randal.y.ikeda@hawaii.gov or postmark written testimony by Friday, September 14, 2012, to: PLDC, P.O. Box 2359, Honolulu, HI 96804.

More information on the PLDC is available at www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/pldc.
Copies of the proposed rules change are available online at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/pldc/rules.

Copies for public review are available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at No. 1 Capitol District, 250 S. Hotel St., Room 501, Honolulu, HI 96813. The public may make written request for a mailed copy by indicating mailing address in correspondence sent to the PLDC address in the preceding paragraph.

Any person requiring a special accommodation (i.e. large print materials, sign language interpreters) should make a request in writing to the PLDC address in the preceding paragraph or by calling 587-0393 (V/T). The request will need to be received at least seven days before the hearing date.

BACKGROUND – WHAT THE PROPOSED RULES WILL DO:
The proposed adoption of a new Chapter 13-301, HAR, Practice and Procedure establishes operating procedures for the PLDC. It contains general provisions relating to the office location and hours, board meetings, and delegation of authority to the Executive Director; and sets forth procedures for proceedings before the board, contested case hearings, declaratory rulings, and petitions for amendment, adoption, or repeal of administrative rules.

Proposed adoption of a new Chapter13-302, HAR, Public Land Development Program sets forth a procedure for the PLDC to initiate, by itself or with qualified persons, or enter into cooperative agreements with qualified persons for the development or financing of projects that make optimal use of public land for the economic, environmental, and social benefit of the people of Hawai‘i.

Proposed adoption of a new Chapter 13-303, HAR, Project Facility Program establishes a procedure for undertaking and financing any project facility as part of a project. Project facilities include improvements, roads and streets, utility and service corridors, utility lines, water and irrigation systems, lighting systems, security systems, sanitary sewerage systems, and other community facilities where applicable.

ABOUT PLDC: The Public Land Development Corporation was formed after the state Legislature passed Senate Bill 1555, which was signed into law as Act 55 by Governor Neil Abercrombie. The corporation is governed by a five-member board of directors. Its executive director is Lloyd Haraguchi. Three state agencies are represented on the board either by its director or their designee. The agencies include the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; the Department of Budget and Finance; and the Department of Land and Natural Resources. One member is appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and one member is appointed by the Senate President.

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