Governor defends Hawaii public land agency
HONOLULU (AP) — Gov. Neil Abercrombie is defending a newly created Hawaii public land agency that has been drawing criticism from environmentalists, native Hawaiian activists and union members.
Critics say the Public Land Development Corp. would favor development because of its broad exemption from zoning laws.
The agency was created by the state Legislature to allow for private development on state land.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://ow.ly/dM1rR ) reported Monday Abercrombie is defending the troubled agency by describing it as a way to cut through bureaucracy and help deliver on long-delayed promises.
Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. attorney David Kimo Frankel says the agency is given unfettered discretion to make decisions that affect land for decades.
Abercrombie says administrative rules could be improved but questions why anyone would consider repealing it before any projects are approved.