Laserfiche WebLink
July 9, 2018 <br />The Honorable Valerie T. Poindexter <br />Chairwoman, Hawaii County Council <br />25 Aupuni Street, Suite 1402/2402, Hilo, HI 96720 <br />Dear Chairwoman Poindexter and Honorable Councilmembers: <br />This letter is concerning the Hawaii County Council's upcoming hearings on the <br />Hamakua Community Development Plan (CDP). <br />I am writing on behalf of the East Hawaii Chapter of the HFUU (Hawai`i Farmers Union <br />United). We are comprised of 98 members from Hilo to Waipi`o. <br />While the overall plan is good and offers respectful guidance for development as well as <br />preservation of Hamakua's lifestyle, it unfortunately contains provisions that appear to <br />inadvertently act against agricultural interests. <br />Specifically, paragraph 4.5.4 asks the county to develop "viewshed regulations", and <br />paragraph 4.5.6 seeks to discourage "tall, vegetative windbreaks." <br />The CDP contains no clear definition of what these viewsheds or viewscapes are nor how <br />"enhancement" or "protection" of these mesh with factors such as agricultural zoning, <br />private property rights, Hawaii state law, or the protection of watershed ecosystems — <br />which the CDP also calls for. Nor does it acknowledge the value of windbreaks and <br />forestry, and other aspects of these agricultural practices. <br />Current Hawaii County zoning, as well as Hawaii's state -level Right -to -Farm statute, <br />allow a robust range of uses of agriculturally -zoned land. The vision and foresight that <br />resulted in our pro -agriculture statutes and regulations promise a good future for Hawaii's <br />farmers and foresters to feed and otherwise support our citizenry. In addition, the <br />agriculture, agroforestry, and forestry permitted by our laws offer all of us the widespread <br />benefits of improved air and water quality, protection of crops from tropical storm <br />damage, as well as carbon sequestration and adaptability to the impacts of climate <br />change. It is very important to note that when windbreaks are put into place within the <br />tradewinds corridor, it slows down the lower level winds which effect the micro climates <br />of the island. This allows for moisture to be collected while preserving the annual plants <br />and their ability to hold soil in place and from drying out the soil from winds. Our soil is <br />worth preserving, and high windbreaks make that possible. <br />While we too enjoy looking at the mountains and ocean vistas of our incredible island, <br />we don't want to see the rights of farmers and foresters diminished in an era where we <br />need them protected more than ever before. <br />