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Wed Jul 11, 2018, 11:10 AM

Mayor says restricting construction in lava zones 1 and 2 would be counterproductive

Because so much of Hawaii Island geography is designated as lava zones 1 and 2, it doesn’t make sense to bar construction there, said Mayor Harry Kim on Tuesday.

Kim, reacting to public statements by state officials, said construction can’t be restricted in those two zones with the highest risk of inundation without compensating property owners for the loss of use of their lands. Lava Zone 2, for example, includes a large swath of Puna and most of southwest Hawaii Island, including Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, considered the largest private subdivision in the nation, with 11,500 1-acre lots over 18 square miles.

“These are our bedroom communities. A lot of people purchase there because they want to live there, but a lot of people live there because that’s the only place they can afford,” Kim said after a County Council briefing about short- and long-term plans for housing in the midst of an eruption in lower Puna.

Instead, Kim said, his administration can, and will, deny rezoning to higher density developments in those two lava zones. Recommendations on rezoning applications are made to the planning commissions by the planning director, which then forward their recommendation to the County Council.

Read more: http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2018/07/11/hawaii-news/mayor-says-restricting-construction-in-lava-zones-1-and-2-would-be-counterproductive/

Courtesy of U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY Lava zone map of the Big Island.

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