Monday, March 22, 2010

HHF Testimony on HDR336/HR254: Requesting SHPD to complete a Statewide Survey and Inventory to Identify Historic Properties

TO: Rep. Mele Carroll, Chair
Rep. Maile S. L. Shimabukuro, Vice Chair
Committee on Hawaiian Affairs
Rep. Ken Ito, Chair
Rep. Sharon E. Har, Vice Chair
Committee on Water, Land and Ocean Resources

FROM: Kiersten Faulkner, Executive Director
Historic Hawaii Foundation

RE: HCR336/HR254 : Requesting SHPD to complete a Statewide Survey and Inventory to Identify and Document Historic Properties, Artifacts and Burial Sites

On behalf of Historic Hawai‘i Foundation (HHF), I am writing in support of HCR336/HR254, which requests that the State Historic Preservation Division complete a statewide survey and inventory to identify and document historic properties, artifacts, burial goods and sites, and human skeletal remains that are held by or under the control of the State.

HHF strongly supports all efforts to identify and protect significant historic properties. Updating the state’s inventory of historic sites, structures, artifacts, burials and other historic properties is necessary in order to improve the process of identifying and disclosing the presence of potentially significant historic and cultural sites in a timely way, which in turn will better allow the planning and development processes to provide for their protection, and will further provide for consumer protection by ensuring that property owners are informed about historic preservation responsibilities and restrictions. The discovery, documentation, evaluation and preservation of significant historic properties is in the best interest of all stakeholders, including property owners, developers, and the greater community.

The state historic preservation division (SHPD) has a mandate to conduct historic surveys and inventories; the county governments should also be including that level of analysis in their general plans and community development plans. The basic step of completing the identification of properties that meet the criteria of eligibility for historic designation would allow for up-front analysis and protection, rather than simply reacting to proposals in an ad hoc manner.

Therefore, HHF recommends approval of HCR336/HR254.