Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hawaii Zoning Stops Barn Dances, Gathering and Voting

Dear Hawai’i,
So there is context to this piece please read the very first amendment in our Constitution of the United States.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that expressly prohibits the Congress from making laws "respecting an establishment of religion", prohibiting the free exercise of religion, infringing the freedom of speech, infringing the freedom of the press, limiting the right to peaceably assemble, or limiting the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Over six years ago a small group of people got together to dance in an environment of no alcohol, drugs or talking. It was popular enough that what began as six people eventually grew into a community of over three hundred strong with ties to the mainland. I gathered with them every Sunday morning to dance under a green house roof on a 90ft floor, and it was so much fun that visitors who came, went back to their own communities and started their own version of it. The dance attracted people from all over the island, it was that special. But this isn’t about the dance but the place that allowed it to occur. There were art shows, performances, movies, people socialized and voted there. I am referring to the, The Emax Pavilion at Kalani Honua. Not long ago a county official said, “No more, this space only for greenhouse purposes.” Here is bureaucracy of this county strangling the efforts of a community to peaceably assemble. On the mainland they are called ‘Barn Dances’ and do you think their officials are combing the countryside so they can tell people they can’t dance in their barns? A greenhouse is the “Hawaiian Barn” and restricting people from gathering there is not only impacting the quality of life in our neighborhood but seems to be unconstitutional as well. Any lawyers out there who can weigh in on this? I wrote a piece about the need to return to Villages so people can live rich and rewarding lives without the necessity of owning an automobile. Concentrate people in smaller areas and provide smaller scaled services in those areas that are accessible by bicycle or foot. The parking lots take up a lot of space. Look around Hilo and how much land is needed to drive/parks your car? Get it? Town villages use a square or plaza that is ringed with side walk cafes, galleries, etc. Reinstating the Emax Pavilion at Kalani Honua for dances, art shows, and community gathering enforces the village concept that is in a fledgling state for the LoPu (lower Puna) and Kehena Bay area. Neighborhoods and villages need gathering places. Like a town square, or a big greenhouse, or a Barn. It is time to change the zoning to create alternatives to our auto-centric existence. Build Villages!
Marlin
Pahoa, Hawaii

40 comments:

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