l am writing to inform you and your readers about a malign campaign being waged by RJ Hampton and Sativa under the guise of an organization called the “Puna Coastal Alliance” (PCA).
As you know, the Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance (HSCA) authored a bill (HB111 – Relating to Sustainable Living) that passed all three House committees in 2013. This year, our sister bill, SB2274, has passed three Senate committees and has crossed over to be reviewed by the House. This bill adds “Sustainable Living Research Sites” to the existing list of permitted uses on land zoned agricultural and rural. SB2274 was introduced by Senator Russell Ruderman.
The Puna Coastal Alliance has recently circulated e-mails claiming that SB2274 will “permit construction, roads, geo-thermal, alternative power plants, parking lots, buildings, mills, and processing plants” by declaring that State lands can be used as “sustainable living research projects.” These are already existing permitted land uses under current Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 205.
At a public meeting at Kalani on March 3, 2014, attended by RJ Hampton and Sativa, bill SB2274 was fully explained by HSCA board members and reviewed to show that it clearly does NOT add on any of the activities claimed by the Puna Coastal Alliance. In fact, the following day the Puna Pono Alliance, our local anti-geothermal activists, stated publicly that they “see no new geothermal law at all” in SB2274.
Knowing this information, Sativa has gone ahead and called Rep. Faye Hanohano and Rep. Cindy Evans to oppose bill SB2274 on the grounds that it “is not about sustainable living.”
The Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance asks BIC readers to take a look at this bill for themselves and write us if they have any questions, concerns, or comments. The intention and goals of our bill, which has been reviewed by past and present County of Hawaii planning directors, is to facilitate the implementation of the State of Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan and to improve Hawaii’s climate change preparedness and resilience. This bill will add “Sustainable Living Research Sites” as permitted land use under the same process that the County Planning Department uses for commercial aquaculture, wind generation, solar, biofuel, geothermal, and numerous other developments (which are already currently permitted uses on agricultural and rural zoned land).
In Puna, bill SB2274 will provide a permitting process for organizations like Hawaiian Sanctuary, Polestar, Gaia Yoga, La’Akea, SPACE/Bellyacres, Kalani Honua, and Dragon’s Eye. These organizations are known and well supported by Puna residents for the facilities, services, and activities they provide for our community, which is undeniably underserved by the County and State.
As our communities respond to our changing world, our laws need review and revision in order to meet changing needs and allow for innovation to be compliant and permitted. On the Big Island and Maui, SB2274 will allow for the permitting of ecovillages, farms that accommodate interns studying agriculture, non-commercial composting toilets, grey water systems, and other research that serves to better prepare ourselves and our children for the inevitable effects of climate change.