Letters — Regarding Senate Bill 2274, Related To Sustainable Living

Tiffany,

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.
Sustainably yours,
Graham Ellis
HSCA Chairman

 

14 replies
  1. Sativa
    Sativa says:

    Graham ,
    All RJ and I are doing is what you are suppose to be allowed to do in a democracy….when you feel like something is not right you can oppose it.

    Don’t take this personal but there are a lot of people besides us that are opposed to this piece of legislation. Remember your “emergency” meeting? Most of the people who attended where in opposition to this bill.

    And by the way, HB 111 did NOT pass it was deferred which means postponed so it could not have passed.

    Also, you only quoted a part of the Puna Pono Alliance’s email. The last paragraph stated:

    “It is remotely possible that a geothermal developer could try to use a sustainable living site as a hoax to do geothermal research (i.e., exploratory drilling) under the guise of sustainable research,…”

    What does “remotely possible” mean? It can’t be impossible if it is possible.

    This bill, SB2274, has taken on many new definitions of Sustainable Living that don’t benefit the Hawai’i 2050 Sustainability Plan. This bill allows for anything and everything to be done under a very vague “research” category within Rural and Agriculture classified land.

    This is some of the language in the new chapter…

    4) Under the new Chapter” not yet numbered but titled “CHAPTER SUSTAINABLE LIVING RESEARCH ACT” section -8 Rules. Section 3. Section 205-2, Hawaii Revised Statues, is amended by amending subsections (c) and (d) to read as follows: This section revises and adds “permissible uses” to include
    (1) Geothermal resources exploration and geothermal resources development, as defined under section 182-1 ; and
    (2) Sustainable living research sites pursuant to chapter
    (d) Agricultural districts shall include as permissible uses::

    (4) Wind generated energy production for public, private and commercial use;
    (8) Wind machines and wind farms
    (14) Geothermal resources exploration and geothermal resources development, as defined under section 182-1
    (16) Sustainable living research sites pursuant to chapter – Agricultural districts
    Section 4
    (7) Public, private, and quasi-public utility lines and roadways, transformer stations, communications equipment buildings, solid waste transfer stations, major water storage tanks, and appurtenant small buildings such as booster pumping stations, but not including offices or yards for equipment, material, vehicle storage, repair or maintenance, treatment plants, corporation yards, or other similar structures;
    (16) Biofuel processing facilities, including the appurtenances associated with the production and refining of biofuels that is normally considered directly accessory and secondary to the growing of the energy feedstock; provided that biofuels processing facilities and appurtenances do not adversely impact agricultural land and other agricultural uses in the vicinity.
    (18) Construction and operation of wireless communication antennas; provided that, for the purposes of this paragraph, “wireless communication antenna” means communications equipment that is either freestanding or placed upon or attached to an already existing structure and that transmits and receives electromagnetic radio signals used in the provision of all types of wireless communications services; provided further
    that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to permit the construction of any new structure that is not deemed a permitted use under this subsection;
    (21)Geothermal resources exploration and geothermal resources development, as defined under section 182 1[.];

  2. Sativa
    Sativa says:

    Graham,
    All RJ and I are doing is what you are suppose to be allowed to do in a democracy….when you feel like something is not right you can oppose it.

    Don’t take this personal but there are a lot of people besides us that are opposed to this piece of legislation. Remember your “emergency” meeting? Most of the people who attended where in opposition to this bill.

    And by the way, HB 111 did NOT pass it was deferred which means postponed so it could not have passed.

    Also, you only quoted a part of the Puna Pono Alliance’s email. The last paragraph stated:

    “It is remotely possible that a geothermal developer could try to use a sustainable living site as a hoax to do geothermal research (i.e., exploratory drilling) under the guise of sustainable research,…”

    What does “remotely possible” mean? It can’t be impossible if it is possible.

    This bill, SB2274, has taken on many new definitions of Sustainable Living that don’t benefit the Hawai’i 2050 Sustainability Plan. This bill allows for anything and everything to be done under a very vague “research” category within Rural and Agriculture classified land.

    This is some of the language in the new chapter…

    4) Under the new Chapter” not yet numbered but titled “CHAPTER SUSTAINABLE LIVING RESEARCH ACT” section -8 Rules. Section 3. Section 205-2, Hawaii Revised Statues, is amended by amending subsections (c) and (d) to read as follows: This section revises and adds “permissible uses” to include
    (1) Geothermal resources exploration and geothermal resources development, as defined under section 182-1 ; and
    (2) Sustainable living research sites pursuant to chapter
    (d) Agricultural districts shall include as permissible uses::

    (4) Wind generated energy production for public, private and commercial use;
    (8) Wind machines and wind farms
    (14) Geothermal resources exploration and geothermal resources development, as defined under section 182-1
    (16) Sustainable living research sites pursuant to chapter – Agricultural districts
    Section 4
    (7) Public, private, and quasi-public utility lines and roadways, transformer stations, communications equipment buildings, solid waste transfer stations, major water storage tanks, and appurtenant small buildings such as booster pumping stations, but not including offices or yards for equipment, material, vehicle storage, repair or maintenance, treatment plants, corporation yards, or other similar structures;
    (16) Biofuel processing facilities, including the appurtenances associated with the production and refining of biofuels that is normally considered directly accessory and secondary to the growing of the energy feedstock; provided that biofuels processing facilities and appurtenances do not adversely impact agricultural land and other agricultural uses in the vicinity.
    (18) Construction and operation of wireless communication antennas; provided that, for the purposes of this paragraph, “wireless communication antenna” means communications equipment that is either freestanding or placed upon or attached to an already existing structure and that transmits and receives electromagnetic radio signals used in the provision of all types of wireless communications services; provided further
    that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to permit the construction of any new structure that is not deemed a permitted use under this subsection;
    (21)Geothermal resources exploration and geothermal resources development, as defined under section 182-1

  3. Hazen
    Hazen says:

    Who are RJ and Sativa? And really? What the hell are they smoking!?! What possible motivations could they have or are they just spaced out Punatics? The only people I could possible see opposing this are developers and large corporate contractors.

  4. concerned red road citizen
    concerned red road citizen says:

    As usual a spin to benefit the pro side. Puna Coastal Alliance didn’t provoke anyone or this campaign to Oppose we all found out about this unknown bill through Concern folks in Seaview. Why was this bill flying under radar if not to hide the harm it will cause along the Red road. The Planning Department NOR the Health Departments approve this bill as your words spin that they reviewed but with written testimony of CONCERN that we all have. Rarely will a department take a Oppose Stand. They write up their concerns so as they will be addresses in the bill. Puno Pono Alliance ALSO stated in their email that it could conceivable be used by the geothermal interest but did state unlikely. Now if them had a concern with a possible loopholes in the wording that would allow any misrepresentation then they MUST share their concerns to the bill IF They are speaking for a larger group. This bill is a ALL or Nothing stance, groups should not have concerns with “What If” .

    what Graham to disclose is that they have dropped their special use permit because they came to realization not going to never pass. This bill will allow to fly under “research” to get more unpermitted buildings and folks living on they land just like Kalani wants in their new cluster housing project that they started years ago and sold each individual house for 150k and under nonprofit no property taxes paid by the owners. This is really BAD bill get educated and read and not take my stance or Graham come to your own conclusions

    no name because concern of backlash from the muscle of Graham and Kalani

  5. Obie
    Obie says:

    It is kind of funny that SPACE/Bellyacres is not in compliance with zoning and they are trying to change the zoning laws by re-writing the County Code with a new State Law.

  6. Sativa
    Sativa says:

    Looks like your all catching on.

    Yes, concerned citizen I too would like to remain anonymous but sometimes you just have to be known.

    Besides that, note, if you are tracking bill SB2274 it has been given a triple referral which means it has to be heard in three committees in order to pass. Historically it is almost impossible to get out of three committees alive and intact especially when there is community opposition.

    By the way, Hazen, I don’t need to smoke anything to see through this B.S. In fact this bill should be called BS 2274! The mendacity of Graham Ellis and his bill.

  7. mark
    mark says:

    I am opposed to this Bill and I have written my contacts at the State Legislature voicing my concerns. My email is as follows:

    Aloha,

    I am writing this testimony as a private citizen and land owner in Seaview, Volcano and Onomea, and not as representative of the many Associations, Committees and Clubs that I volunteer for.

    I am adamantly opposed to SB 2274. This Bill has the potential and likelihood of overriding long-standing permitting processes and zoning laws. This is not the right Bill to address the overall issue of sustainable living conditions. The “Sustainability Reach Permit” has the distinct possibility of very harmful consequences and I urge you to oppose this Bill.

    With warm aloha,

    Mark

    Mark Hinshaw
    Mainstreet Pahoa Association, President
    Pahoa Regional Town Center Steering Committee, Chair
    Pahoa Booster Club, President
    Puna Traffic Safety Committee
    County of Hawaii Mass Transit Sub-Committee
    Red Road Scenic Byway Committee

  8. Seeb
    Seeb says:

    So i have not seen how you become a research site,do you just self declare. or do you need a permit-that the county would promptly deny

  9. Obie
    Obie says:

    All of the communes that Graham Ellis mentions in his original post are all in violation of numerous health, zoning, and building regulations !

    Hawaiian Sanctuary, Polestar, Gaia Yoga, La’Akea, SPACE/Bellyacres, Kalani Honua, and Dragon’s Eye all have websites and are advertising their illegal activities !

    If this bill becomes law,they should be required to demolish all of the non complying improvements and then start from scratch.They need to clean up all the damage they have done to the environment.

    This is the only way to prove that their plan is truly sustainable !!

  10. Greg
    Greg says:

    RJ, Sativa, and Obie; Now there’s an alliance for the ages. Tin foil and Tea Bags.

    You have my support Graham, good luck!

  11. Seaview Resident
    Seaview Resident says:

    SB2274 really is a RED ALERT bill because it eliminates the Special Use Permit (SUP) process.

    Graham, who introduced the bill through Russell Ruderman and who is the main lobbyist for it, confirmed in a recorded public meeting a week ago that under this bill he would not need to file for a SUP.

    A SUP gives the surrounding property owners of such planned Self-Sustainable-Living-Research-Geothermal-Windmill-Circus-you name it-Eco-Villages the right to be notified, the right to be heard by the Planning Commission, the right to contest and the right to appeal.

    I am opposed to the loss of democracy that this bill represents. Aren’t you?

  12. mark
    mark says:

    After reading the Second version that was release by the House Committee, I am leaning toward favoring this Bill. It was originally to be implemented by 2015, that has now been amended to take effect on July 1, 2050.

    Anyone working with County Codes knows it takes a very long time to amend the numerous overlapping codes so that all are in “sync” with each other. This new date is also in alignment with the Hawaii Sustainability 2050 Plan.

    I know Russell has good intentions with this Bill, and the House Committee has tweaked it to be more realistic.

  13. Sativa
    Sativa says:

    The 2050 effective date is just a place holder until it passes. They just arbitrarily give it that date. Do you really think it’s going to take effect in 2050?

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