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Janice Palma-Glennie on ‘O’oma: “Learn from Past Mistakes”

Overwhelming opposition to O'oma: 10 for, 50 against. 150 turnout

Commentary:

If the State Land Use Commission (LUC) hadn’t reclassified Kohanaiki (“Pine Trees”) out of its former Conservation status for resort and urban development, the community wouldn’t have had to fight for 20 years to secure access and a shoreline public park there. In fact, without its resale value continually increased by government-added entitlements and speculative purchases, Kohanaiki’s 500 acres may well have been saved from bulldozing and now set aside as public, open space (as it should have been). Add that to the enlarging Hokulia and Palamanui debacles (and next door Shores of Kohanaiki’s hulking shell) and a slower economy, and it seems there’s a pretty significant lesson here for the LUC as it makes its decision whether or not to reclassify `O`oma for more urban development.

`O`oma Beachside Villages LLC development plan may look good on paper, but it won’t on Kona’s diminishing coastal, Conservation land. As for the real estate and construction industry’s worn-out and, frankly, sickenly repetitious claims that more approvals of grandiose development will provide needed jobs… more than 7,000 building permits are already on the books in the North Kona district alone with potential to start building today if anyone wanted to. Construction jobs aren’t lacking due to too little urban zoned land or County generosity in handing out building permits. In fact, Kona’s economy and infrastructure are helter-skelter at least partly due to a history of poor decision-making by both government leaders and greed-driven investors pushing too much development. That short-sightedness includes rezoning and allocating land for haphazardly-located, unplanned-for, mega-projects, accompanied by false hopes and promises given to construction workers and investors.

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