The Maui County Council is always in session.
So, ordinances can be enacted any time throughout the term. As we approach the halfway point of the current council term, I thought this would be a good time to review some noteworthy ordinances enacted thus far in 2013, across various fields of interest.
The council has approved numerous ordinances to enact fiscal year 2014 budget amendments, at the request of Mayor Alan Arakawa and upon the recommendation of the Budget and Finance Committee, which increase funding for both operations and capital improvements. Recent budget amendments have supported countywide water-source development and acquisition and well development in West Maui (Ordinance 4068), improvements at War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku (Ordinance 4066) and development of the Kulamalu Affordable Housing Project in Upcountry Maui (Ordinance 4058).
The council has named the Richard "Pablo" Caldito Park in Waihee and the David Kanaloa Kaho'okele Jr. Nahiku Community Center in East Maui by Ordinances 4055 and 4073. The names were recommended by the Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture and Recreation Committee, based on submissions from a volunteer county commission.
Among the legislation reviewed by the Housing, Human Services and Transportation Committee this year was a bill to reform the animal control ordinance, as recently reported in this space ("Chair's 3 Minutes," Oct. 13). At press time, the bill had received initial council approval but had not been signed into law.
The Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee has advanced several public-safety bills relating to crosswalks and parking, as well as a bill to reform the subdivision code. The latter measure has been enacted as Ordinance 4053, for the purpose of updating the procedure for processing applications and clarifying the responsibility of executive-branch departments in enforcing subdivision standards.
Among other actions, the Land Use Committee this year has recommended approval of a zoning change to expand the existing Miki Basin heavy industrial area on Lanai, and thereby open up other land use opportunities within the urban core of Lanai City. The committee has also recommended approval of land use changes for a rock-crushing operation on East Welakahao Road in Kihei and the Kihei Veterinary Clinic on South Kihei Road.
The council approved those Land Use Committee recommendations by Ordinances 4046-47, 4029-31 and 4065, respectively.
Updated uses and development standards for several zoning districts (public/quasi-public, agricultural, apartment and duplex) have been established by Ordinances 4048, 4049, 4076 and 4077, respectively. The Planning Committee vetted the legislation, which is part of a series of bills proposed by the Department of Planning to update, streamline and standardize the zoning code.
To establish a uniform procedure for the administration of grants, the Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee has recommended reforming the county grants program. The council approved the suggested amendments to the County Code through Ordinance 4027.
To improve government efficiency, the council reduced the number of county boards and commissions, via Ordinances 4078 and 4079, as recommended by the Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. The Office of the Mayor advised the committee that it's been difficult to recruit volunteers to serve on boards and commissions and to establish quorum for meetings.
By Ordinance 4062, the council extended the deadline to establish a water conservation plan to Aug. 29, 2014. The Water Resources Committee and the Department of Water Supply emphasized the importance of taking sufficient time to collect and analyze the data necessary to establish an effective long-term plan for the preservation and use of the county's precious water resources.
The ordinances are available at www.mauicounty.gov/ordinances.
Do you have an idea for the council's next ordinance? Please let me know: email@example.com.A hui hou.
* Gladys C. Baisa is chairwoman of the Maui County Council and holds the council's Pukalani/Kula/Ulupalakua area residency seat. "Chair's 3 Minutes" is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters.