Community Coalition Kaua’i (CCK) was formed in the Summer 2016 to specifically track the process of the new General Plan for Kaua’i. CCK was borne out of the common concern of many individuals from around the island that they were not being adequately heard through the County’s choreographed public input process. Originally created as a forum for neighborhood associations and community organizations to come together and speak with one voice, CCK quickly expanded to be inclusive of any and all concerned citizens who want to see a General Plan that takes a proactive stance on managing growth on Kaua’i.
We, as a group, strongly feel that the reality is the last few decades of uncontrolled growth on Kaua’i has created intense pressure on our ecosystems, widened the gap of inequality, tipped the scales of balance in the quality of our personal and collective lives, and thus undermined the very foundation of a successful and fulfilled community.
We are a collaborative group and with the release of the Discussion Draft General Plan in November 2016, CCK members formed 13 working groups to review various components of the plan. And, as you can imagine, this required an enormous amount of coordination, time commitment and reconciling of comments and recommendations – all from a volunteer crew of dedicated community members. These groups assembled a body of recommendations across the 13 working groups and presented them to the Planning Department on December 16, 2016.
With the start of the Planning Commission’s review of the Draft General Plan in January 2017, CCK members continued their engagement in the seven public hearings on the Plan before the Commission. In spite of the urgent need to reset our compass, an enormous disappointment and set back was endured by much of the Kaua’i Community on June 13, 2017 by the passing of the Draft General Plan by the Planning Commission that will guide the future of our island until 2035. During the first six months of 2017, the sentiment that was been echoed in chambers of the Planning Commission is that the communities of Kaua’i are looking for a sustainable future where growth is controlled and managed with the idea that quality of life for Kaua’i’s residents should be a priority. The hope was to re-align the balance of power on this island from one that places it’s priorities and future direction in the hands of the large land owners and developers, to one that puts quality of life for community members first. However, this was for naught as reflected in multiple decisions made in the final hours of the Planning Commission meeting in June, including accepting and forwarding to the County Council a proposed new General Plan.
As we follow the General Plan Update process, we will move with the Plan to the chambers of the County Council. However, we need the full force of the communities on all sides of Kaua’i to come together and take responsibility for our future. If the County is not willing to take it on, then we as an island community can and have to work collectively, quickly and effectively to meet these challenges. We have no other choice. The time has come to sharpen the focus on where we want to be and widen our problem-solving lens by harnessing the collective intelligence that resides within this island community. Problems, by definition, have many facets to them and by using collaborative engagement we can tackle these complex and systemic challenges and help shape a future for Kaua’i that is forward thinking, based on a proactive rather than reactive model.
``We need the full force of the communities on all sides of Kaua`i to come together and take responsibility for our future.``
``The time has come to sharpen the focus on where we want to be and widen our problem-solving lens by harnessing the collective intelligence that resides within our Island community.``
``Using Collaborative engagement we can tackle these complex challenges and help shape a future for Kaua`i that is sustainable and forward thinking.``