Gov. Neil Abecrombie’s staff on Tuesday posted an extensive defense of the controversial Public Land Development Corp. on the governor’s web site.
The FAQ contains some of the same content as the strategic plan for the corporation suggested on Monday by state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz (D, Kaena-Wahiawa-Pupukea) and state Sen. Malama Solomon (D, Hilo-Honokaa).
From the FAQ:
Do PLDC projects need to adhere to existing environmental, historic and other federal, state or county laws?
Yes. The PLDC and project partners must adhere to federal and state environmental and historic preservation laws, wage and hour laws, and other relevant laws.
Although Section 19 of Act 55 exempts the PLDC from laws relating to land use and zoning, those activities must be coordinated with the county planning departments and the county land use plans, policies and ordinances.
That passage, in particular, set off David Kimo Frankel, staff attorney for the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., who fired off a blistering email to Donalyn Dela Cruz, Abercrombie’s press secretary and Dela Cruz’s sister.
Clearly, you and the administration do not understand environmental law.
* According to no less authority than the Hawai`i Supreme Court, HRS chapter 205, the State Land Use Law is a “law relating to environmental quality.” County of Hawai’i v. Ala Loop Homeowners, 123 Hawai`i 391, 410, 235 P.3d 1102, 1122 (2010). HRS § 171C-19 provides that PLDC projects “shall be exempt from all statutes . . . relating to . . . land use.” Are you disputing that (a) the Land Use Law is an environmental preservation law, or (b) that HRS § 171C-19 does not exempt the PLDC from its requirements. Who is being dishonest?
By the way, the State Land Use Law has protected Pohue Bay, O`oma, Kealakekua and Waianae from inappropriate development.
* According to no less authority than the Hawai`i Supreme Court, HRS chapter 205A, the State’s coastal zone management act, “is a comprehensive State regulatory scheme to protect the environment and resources of our shoreline areas.” Morgan v. Planning Dep’t, 104 Hawai`i 173, 181, 86 P.3d 982, 990 (2004). It also regulates land use. See HRS 205A-28. Are you disputing that (a) HRS 205A is an environmental law, or (b) that HRS § 171C-19 does not exempt the PLDC from its requirements. Who is being dishonest?
By the way, HRS 205A protected Pauoa Bay, Nā`ālehu and many other special places from inappropriate development.
* I’m not sure who in their right mind would question whether our conservation district law, HRS 183C is an environmental law. It has protected Wa`ahila Ridge, Pao`o, Honoli`i, ‘Ewa beach and many other special places. Are you saying that the PLDC is not exempt from this law? Why then has the PLDC refused to put such a provision in its draft rules even after such language was suggested to it?
* The PLDC is also exempt from all zoning requirements. The purpose of the City’s planning and zoning ordinances are “to prevent the deterioration of our environment.” Dalton v. City and County of Honolulu, 51 Haw. 400, 416, 462 P.2d 199, 208 (1969). But neither the law nor the proposed rules require compliance with county zoning laws.
* The PLDC is exempt from all subdivision ordinances and rules. Subdivision requirements also protect our environment. See e.g., Kaua`i County Code § 9-2.1 (“Subdivision shall be planned, designed and constructed to preserve the natural environment and science beauty of the County”), Honolulu Subdivision Rules and Regulations § 1-102(d) (“the purpose of these rules is to . . . preserve, enhance, and improve the anural amenities, qualities and environment of the community.”) and Hawai`i County Code § 23-26 (“Outstanding natural or cultural features such as scenic spots, water courses, fine groves of trees, heiaus, historical sites and structures shall be preserved as provided by the director.”)
Stop lying to the public!
(And by the way, any decent lawyer can tell you that the PLDC law is not equivalent to the HCDA’s – nor are the proposed rules.)
And please, feel free to forward this to your brother.