FAQ 2017-05-19T06:09:12+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

The Kauaʻi General Plan is a forward-thinking document that guides County policy over the next 20 years. The plan includes guidance for future land use, zoning amendments and capital expenditures. It also provides overall policy direction for the Community Plans that cover each of the island’s six planning districts. The community’s participation is essential to the process of developing a shared vision and priorities for the future of Kauaʻi. Let’s Plan Kaua‘i Kākou.
The General Plan covers the entire County of Kaua‘i, which is comprised of six planning districts:

      North Shore
      Kōloa – Poipu – Kalāheo

The island of Ni‘ihau is part of Kaua‘i County as well, and is privately owned.

The General Plan Update is a two-year process that commenced in November 2014. The Draft Final Plan is anticipated to be submitted to the Kaua‘i County Planning Commission in the Fall of 2016, after which it will undergo review and adoption by the County Council. See The Process page for a detailed timeline.
The existing General Plan was updated in 2000. County Charter states that the plan should be updated every ten years. A lot has changed since the last General Plan update. Technology has advanced, issues have emerged, receded, and shifted in priority, and conditions on the ground with Kaua‘i’s environment, infrastructure, and economy are all different than they were in 2000.

Among the newer issues that the General Plan update will address are:

  • Multimodal transportation (walking, biking, transit) and reduction of vehicle traffic
  • Climate change and its potential impacts to Kaua‘i’s environment and economy
  • Smart Growth Principles and Form-based code as tools to preserve community character and open space between communities
  • The role of community members, non-profits, and private sector in implementation
  • How the County can prioritize and finance implementation measures
The theme of the General Plan Update is ‘Kaua’i Kākou’, which recognizes that everyone must work together to develop a shared vision and goals for our island.

We are all affected by many of the same concerns about Kaua‘i’s future:

  • Are there enough opportunities for our keiki to live and work on Kaua‘i?
  • How can more of us make a good living and have access to the housing we need?
  • What happens to tourism if our beaches and corals are damaged due to climate change and erosion?
  • Can the roads, water systems, sewage, and waste disposal systems handle more growth?
  • How can Kaua‘i retain its rural character?
  • Is it realistic for Kaua‘i to produce more of its own food, energy, and supplies and become more self-sufficient?
  • How can we protect our special places, beliefs, and community values?

Kaua‘i is a resilient and independent island, the only island never conquered by Kamehameha I, and to have survived two devastating hurricanes in recent history. Pulling together to accomplish shared goals is a familiar concept to Kaua‘i’s people, and will be an asset in bringing people together to help define and implement a vision for Kaua‘i’s future.

The General Plan provides policy guidance on a wide range of topics, including:

      Sustainability and the Countywide Vision for 2035
      Natural Resource Management and Conservation
      Cultural and Heritage Resources
      Economic Development
      Affordable and Workforce Housing
      Agricultural Lands and Food Sustainability
      Renewable Energy
      Climate Change and Hazard Preparedness
      Open Space and Access
      Public Services
      Pedestrian Networks
      Bicycle Networks
      Roads and Traffic
      Harbors and Airports
      Public Health and Community Design
      Growth Management and Community Character
      Growth Management and Supporting Infrastructure
As a member of the Kaua‘i community, we need your mana‘o. What is your vision for Kaua‘i’s future? What would you change? What makes your community special and unique? Only by understanding the community’s unique perspectives can the General Plan seek to address the most important issues, needs, and concerns. Visit the Participation page to learn more.
Kauaʻi County Planning Department: Michael Dahilig, Marie Williams, Leanora Kaiaokamalie, Lee Steinmetz, Marisa Valenciano

Consultants: SSFM International, Opticos Design Inc., Collaborative Economics, Economic & Planning Systems, Metroquest, PBR Hawaiʻi, Charlier Associates Inc.

The GP is also supported by a Community Advisory Committee. Click here to learn more.

Key Issues

Chapter 2 of the 2000 General Plan outlines the vision for Kaua‘i’s future. Here are the key elements of that vision (read the full text here):

  • A “garden island” of natural beauty
  • A rural environment with towns and open spaces
  • A vital modern society with many cultures
  • Distinctly individual towns and communities
  • Pride in historic places, ancient languages, and cultural traditions
  • A population size and economy that sustains Kaua’i’s natural beauty, rural environment, and lifestyle
  • Best practices in roads, public facilities, land development, and environmental regulations to protect land and water
  • An agricultural center for crops, food, and forest products
  • A resort destination with diverse cultural and recreational opportunities
  • Protection of residents’ relationship to the land and use of special places
  • Government support for the labor force and small business owners

Does this vision still ring true? How would you change it?