Posted by: lokahipath | July 14, 2010

Time to Fill Out the Open Space Survey

Public input sought on Kauai Open Spaces & Access

Léo Azambuja – The Garden Island | Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 11:45 pm | (0)

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i residents have until Aug. 8 to participate in an Open Space Commission survey asking which lands the community would like to see the county acquire for public use.

“The commission hopes that the public will share with us their list of public accesses and special places that should be protected or acquired,” Chair Jean Souza said Tuesday.

The survey, which can be completed online or by hand, asks for the specific location of the suggested land, including its tax map key, plus information on the owner or anything that would be helpful to locate it.

“We will analyze each suggestion, review past suggestions and priorities, and formulate a 2010 list or priority projects to the county council and mayor,” Souza said.

Residents can recommend to the county what type of protection they would like to see the land fall under. The survey also asks for the reason a certain land is suggested, and what would be the opportunities or problems associated with such lands.

Lands that qualify for purchase, acquisition or property entitlement must meet at least one of these purposes: Outdoor recreation or education, historic or cultural preservation, important habitats or ecosystems protection, preservation of forests or coastal areas, watershed protection, conservation to reduce erosion, and improving or acquiring disabled and public access to public land.

Photos or documents won’t be returned, so originals should not be sent.

Surveys can be picked up at the Planning Department, 4444 Rice St., suite 473, Lihu‘e, or at public libraries and county recreation centers.

Residents can also go to http://www.kauai.gov/openspacesurvey to take an online survey.

The commission was created after Kaua‘i voters approved on Nov. 5, 2002, an amendment establishing that 0.5 percent of the county’s Real Property taxes be deposited in a fund toward preservation of public access, open spaces and natural resource preservation.

On Dec. 15, 2003, the County Council enacted Ordinance 812, establishing administrative procedures and priorities, and also creating a nine-member advisory commission attached to the Planning Department.

Since 2004 the commission has been soliciting public input, although not always through a survey, according to Souza. The law requires that the commission’s annual report include public input, she said.

The council approved last year the acquisition of a piece of land to expand Black Pot Park in Hanalei, using $1.85 million from the Open Space fund. The state Legacy Lands Acquisition Fund gave an extra $800,000, and a special trust fund for parks and playgrounds gave $350,000 to go toward the land purchase.

Go to http://www.kauai.gov/openspace or call 241-4050 for more information.

• Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or lazambuja

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