Tuesday, February 9, 2010

HHF testimony on HB2825

From:                          Kiersten Faulkner
                                    Executive Director, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation
Committee Date:      Friday, February 5, 2010
                                    11:00 am
                                    Conference Room 325
Subject:                      HB2825, Relating to Building Permits
On behalf of Historic Hawai‘i Foundation (HHF), I am writing in opposition to HB2825, which exempts from the county building permit requirement construction of nonresidential agricultural and aquacultural structures on state lands and large privately-owned land parcels leased for agricultural or aquacultural operations.

Land parcels that are likely to be affected by HB 2825 are also likely to contain archaeological, cultural or other historic sites associated with one of the major eras in Hawai‘i’s history, either pre-contact Native Hawaiian or more recent plantation-era development.  The investigation and research that results in identification and inventory of historic sites is often triggered by a development proposal, frequently tied to the application for a permit.  While some of these historic sites would be identified at an earlier stage than building permit application, and consequently have appropriate protective measures, many of the sites could be unmarked or unprotected up until the time of permitting.

Because building permits are integrally aligned with the State’s historic preservation processes, exempting new development from the permitting procedures would have the additional consequence of eliminating historic preservation reviews.  It would be unfortunate if, in the pursuit of support for agriculture, a new law had the unintended consequence of destroying portions of the state’s historic and cultural resources.

Therefore, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation opposes HB2825.