Monday, June 30, 2008

The Effect of Kafka-esque Land Use Permitting May Add to Hawaii's Economic Woes

In No More Sunset Weddings without a Permit, I wrote about how the decades old practice of having a sunset wedding in Hawaii is under scrutiny, because the state decided that it would start enforcing laws already on the books.

Today, the Pacific Business News reports that "10,724 visitors traveled by air to Hawaii to get married, down 21 percent from 13,638 in May 2007." In the context of the energy crisis and declining visitor counts to Hawaii, it is important that the state plug the leaks in our economy wherever possible.

The governor's administration has an opportunity to save the burgeoning tourist wedding business. The DLNR's approach to permitting sunset weddings on public beaches should be a straightforward, transparent permitting process. Since a wedding on the beach and/or wedding photos are transitory, low impact uses a streamlined process makes sense.

The ability for the governor's administration to be creative in allowing uses of public lands is allowed under the law. The department of land and natural resources' power to regulate private use of state land is very broad. Thus, the DLNR could specifically tailor a streamlined process for transitory uses, like cities and counties do for use of its public property related to film shoots, public assemblies, and so forth.

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