Opposition to the newly-created Public Land Development Corp. is coalescing into a Hawaii-wide “Day of Action,” set for Oct. 8, Discoverer’s Day, for which each island is planning its own activities from 2 to 4pm. On Oahu, a rally is planned for the state Capitol Building.
The goal is to build support for repealing Act 55, which established the PLDC, which is charged with jump-starting private development on public lands to raise revenue for the cash-strapped state.
The “Day of Action” is “an opportunity for the community to come forward [and] see with our own eyes who actually feels the same,” says Keone Kealoha, director of Malama Kauai. “Though the Superferry protests were mainly driven by Neighbor Islands, in this case, there’s a large [like-minded] contingent on Oahu.”
Oahu activist Choon James wrote in an email, “The only solution to the PLDC problem is REPEAL. Creating another new layer of autocratic fiefdom is anti-democratic.” Citizens have reacted strongly to provisions that allow the PLDC to circumvent various regulations, including county zoning ordinances. In response to public pressure, the Kauai County Council and the Hawaii County Council’s planning committee have adopted resolutions calling upon the state legislature to repeal Act 55.
To help quell the mounting resistance, the PLDC Board will consider, at its Oct. 11 meeting in Honolulu, a resolution approving a strategic plan that outlines its priorities and scope. But even that may not be enough.
“We are not content as a community to settle for the superficial changes proposed, such as revising the administrative rules and nodding in agreement at pretty sounding words in a strategic plan, because these can easily be changed at any point in the future…” says Lance Duncan, a Big Island activist.