Recovery Objectives Presented
Hawai‘i County staff presented the objectives of the Kīlauea eruption recovery planning process to the Puna Community Development Plan Action Committee earlier this month.
The Action Committee previously endorsed the four goals guiding recovery – village town centers, infrastructure, natural and cultural resource management, and health and well-being – which are in line with Puna's Community Development Plan. Eleven objectives to help implement the goals were presented Aug. 6, and the committee voted in favor of supporting their intent.
The objectives were developed out of extensive engagement with more than 1,000 people during the first phase of the planning process. The information collected was combined with existing plans for the island, such as the draft 2020 General Plan and the Puna Community Development Plan.
Both the goals and objectives will help guide the implementation of recovery policies following the eruption that destroyed hundreds of homes and covered 13.7 square-miles of land in lower Puna in 2018.
Input from community Recovery SpeakOut events and surveys also are being used as part of that process. Residents are encouraged to participate in the eruption Impact Status Surveys ahead of the Aug. 30 deadline.
The following are goals and objectives as currently drafted.
Goal: Village Town Centers
- Amenities and Services | Provide access to basic amenities and services within village and town centers, including groceries, child care, parks, and other public facilities, that provide jobs and economic opportunities for local businesses, farmers and entrepreneurs.
- Housing Options | Increase rural and urban affordable housing choices with a diversity of housing types and locations that address the range of affordability needs of residents so that they have a safe, secure home.
- Local Economy | Increase the number and diversity of income sources for residents that pay a living wage, including encouraging jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities that complement the ecology, culture and evolving demographics of the island.
- Transportation | Establish complete roadway connectivity for local traffic, emergency access, alternative routes and evacuation, and develop a safe, convenient, accessible and affordable transportation system.
- Utilities | Restore, improve and expand adequate and affordable utilities (water, wastewater, energy, phone and internet services) where needed and infrastructure is lacking.
- Gathering Spaces | Develop new and improve existing built and natural community gathering spaces that are available for cultural, educational and recreational purposes, and restore and improve educational facilities to serve as multifunctional community hubs.
Goal: Natural and Cultural Resource Management
- Historical and Cultural Resources| Protect and preserve historical, cultural and scenic resources, and increase shoreline public access and agricultural land and open space preservation.
- Native Ecosystems | Protect and provide increased restoration of native ecosystems and habitats, significant natural and cultural features and ecologically sensitive lands mauka to makai.
Goal: Health and Wellbeing
- Physical and Mental Health| Increase resident access to quality health services, including creating a wide variety of healthcare facilities, programs and/or community-based care, such as: community health centers, rural clinics and mobile clinic services for the medically underserved population, and expand options and facilities that promote physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices for all ages, keiki to kupuna.
- Social Health and Safety | Ensure access to quality social services that address social and economic determinants of health to support a high quality of life, decrease social problems and extend life expectancies, and increase police, fire and emergency personnel to an appropriate ratio between population and geography.
- Family Economic Health | Progressively increase the percentage of residents that are economically self-sufficient (measured by the State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism’s Self-sufficiency Income Standard, the Aloha United Way’s Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed - ALICE, and/or other similar measures).
The above objectives were developed and then presented to the community through the Impact Status Surveys and July 27 SpeakOut. The community showed their support for the objectives through over 320 responses to the Community Impact Survey, as of Aug. 23, and more than 140 attendees to the SpeakOut. Through this level of engagement, the Action Committee was able unanimously affirm the intent of the objectives, marking the end of phase two of recovery.
Survey data and other forms of public outreach will continue to inform the county as it prepares for the third phase of the planning process: identifying recovery strategies and scenarios.
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