Maui News

House Votes to Abolish PLDC

April 16, 2013, 7:11 AM HST
* Updated April 16, 8:28 AM
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The House Committees on Water & Land and Finance unanimously adopted HB1133, which would repeal the Public Land Development Corporation. Photo courtesy state House of Representatives.

The House Committees on Water & Land and Finance unanimously adopted HB1133, which would repeal the Public Land Development Corporation. File photo courtesy state House of Representatives.

By Wendy Osher

The State House yesterday voted to abolish the controversial Public Lands Development Corporation. The bill now heads to the governor for his consideration.

The PLDC is a state entity that was created by the Legislature in 2011, and signed into law as Act 55.

The corporation was formed to develop state lands through public-private partnerships, and create a way to generate revenues for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The establishment of the agency, however, sparked public concern from opponents over what they called “broad exemptions” from land use laws, county zoning laws, and construction standards.

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Public testimony included calls to repeal the PLDC, with strong sentiment coming from the PLDC Watch group, founded by Maui resident Mahina Martin.

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“Having complete support from both the House and Senate to push it out of the Legislature is incredibly awesome and a result of people across Hawaii speaking up in unison and elected officials listening,” said Martin.

Martin said she anticipates support from the governor saying, “I look forward to the day he signs it into law and we can remove the sign on the office door that says Public Land Development Corporation.”

In a press release issued following the House passage, State Rep. Cindy Evans of Hawaiʻi Island who introduced the bill said the vote, “is a vote for the ethical management of our natural resources.”

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House Majority Leader Scott Saiki also released a statement saying, “We know that government plays a pivotal role in facilitating economic development, but that entails responsible development. The PLDC failed because it went too far and unchecked.”

Saiki was among those who voted against the original 2011 legislation that created the PLDC.

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