The House Committee on Transportation today passed out a resolution, HCR 291/HR263, requiring the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization and the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Planning and Permitting to develop a planning template, which will ensure that roadways are under the construction phase prior to the building of residential communities in the Ewa Development Plan and Waianae Sustainable Communities Plan.
Road construction has not been able to keep pace with residential development on the Leeward Coast, which has greatly increased traffic congestion. As a result, Representative Karen Awana introduced House Bill 1462, requiring that city and state roads, contiguous to new residential developments, must be in the construction phase prior to the issuance of any grading permits to real estate developers. The measure passed out of the House Transportation Committee but was never heard by the joint Committee on Water, Land & Ocean Resources and Housing. The resolution passed out of committee today seeks to alleviate these issues and continue discussion on this much needed legislation.
"This resolution will not only assist those moving into newly developed neighborhoods, it also alleviates the added burden caused to existing residents. Increased growth in Kapolei and the Ewa plains will significantly impact commuters on the Waianae Coast,” said Rep. Awana. “The Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization's 2030 report forecasts time travel out of the coast to exceed 80 minutes. This measure will help to address these and similar situations taking place throughout our state."
The Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization commented on the resolution, stating that they do not have the resources to develop such a planning template requested. In written testimony, The Department of Planning and Permitting of the City and County of Honolulu noted that the resolution is unnecessary because "There are many policies, procedures and initiatives already in place, under several agencies and the private sector that address the concerns. “ The Planning and Zoning Committee Chair of the Waianae Neighborhood Board and a concerned resident of Nanakuli submitted testimony in support of the resolution.
"It seems as if no one wants to take responsibility with looking into dealing with this issue. The problem simply can be resolved by requiring OMP and DPP to communicate and consider this issue when mapping out the Ewa and Waianae community plans. HCR29 will help create discussion and assist us in the Leeward Coast to receive the basic necessities in our communities," wrote Lautoa F. Atisanoe, Jr, a Nanakuli resident.