History Made with Islandwide SMA Boundary on Lāna‘i
The Lānaʻi Planning Commission has made history by adopting an amendment to the Special Management Area boundary for the entire island of Lānaʻi. This is the first islandwide boundary change in the state since SMA boundaries were adopted in the 1970s.
The commission has worked with the Planning Department’s Plan Implementation Division since January 2016 to revise the island’s SMA boundary to include sites and features that warrant additional protections and reviews that come with inclusion within the SMA. The revised boundary accounts for the tsunami inundation zone, sea level rise and climate change, sand dunes, and cultural and historic features.
The SMA was created as part of federal and state coastal zone management laws, with the SMA being Hawaii’s vehicle to preserve and protect resources within the coastal zone.
The staff report and adopted map can be found at www.mauicounty.gov/planning. Scroll to “Hot Topics” and click on “Lānaʻi Special Management Area Boundary Amendment.”
The commission formally adopted the new boundary at its meeting Feb. 21, 2018. Chairperson Kelli Gima signed the decision and order that formally made the change on March 21, 2018.
“Chair Gima, the entire commission and the Lanai community were involved with this process, which is why it was so successful,” division Chief Kathleen Ross Aoki said. “This was a key implementing action in the Lānaʻi Community Plan update. It was a great collaborative effort and will really make the Lanai SMA boundary meaningful. Former Commissioner Stanley Ruidas should also be recognized for keeping this issue on the front burner.”
The department hopes to continue this effort with Maui and Molokaʻi.