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People again criticize PLDC at hearing on new draft of proposed rules

By Derrick DePledge

LAST UPDATED: 9:33 p.m. HST, Nov 13, 2012

The Public Land Development Corp. heard another torrent of criticism today as it attempts to adopt administrative rules that would allow the new agency to launch projects.

Dozens of people used a public hearing on a new draft of the rules, like hearings on previous drafts, to denounce the PLDC as a potential land grab by developers that could threaten the environment and native culture. Instead of offering suggestions on the rules, most of the people at the nearly four-hour hearing called for the Legislature to repeal the law that created the agency in 2011.

“Good planning is not a burden. It is a requirement,” said Martha Townsend, executive director of The Outdoor Circle. “Good public engagement is not a burden. It’s a requirement.”

Lloyd Haraguchi, the PLDC’s executive director, said staff could present the administrative rules to the agency’s five-member board at a meeting later this month. But Haraguchi, responding to criticism that the new draft should also be subject to public hearings on the neighbor islands, would not rule out additional hearings.

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