Kauai voters in December 2002 approved an amendment to the County Charter that established the “PUBLIC ACCESS, OPEN SPACE AND NATURAL RESOURCES PRESERVATION FUND” and stipulated that each year a minimum of one half of one percent (0.5%)of the County's certified real property taxes would be deposited into the fund.
Ordinance 812, created in December 2003, as the charter amendment directed, the County Council enacted to establish procedures for the administration and priorities for the expenditure of the fund. The ordinance also established a nine-member advisory commission, the "Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Fund Commission," and attached it administratively to the Planning Department.
||Commission correspondence may be sent to:
|Patrick Gegen, Chair
||Public Access, Open Space & Natural Resources
|Joseph Figaroa, Vice Chair
||Preservation Fund Commission
||c/o County of Kauai Planning Department
||4444 Rice Street, Suite A473
|Linda Dela Cruz
||Lihue, HI 96766
The charter amendment further specified that the fund would be used to acquire lands or property entitlements for the following purposes:
- Outdoor recreation and education, including access to beaches and mountains; and
- Preserving of cultural and historic sites; and
- Protecting habitats or ecosystems; and
- Preserving forests, beaches, coastal areas, and agricultural lands; and
- Protecting watershed lands; and
- Conserving land to reduce erosion and runoff; and
- Improving access to public land and open space; and
- Acquiring access to public land and open space; and
- Conserving land for open space and scenic values.
Ordinance 936 effective December 2012 increased the County's certified real property taxes revenues from one half of one percent (0.05%) to one and one half percent (1.5%) effective July 1, 2013.
Ordinance 925 - effective April 2012 aimed to better align the authorities provided by the Ordinance and that of County Council and the people of Kauai.
The Commission and Planning Department are charged with the task of developing an biennial list of recommended priorities of lands or property entitlements to be acquired or for the funding of projects directly related to the act, and to incorporate a countywide community input process into development of this biennial list.
Open Space Commission reports submitted to the County Council include recommendations for improving public access, open space, and natural resources preservation on Kauai. These reports are available for download in the "Documents" panel below.
The amendment to the County Charter, along with passage of Ordinance 812, 925 and 936 expresses Kauai residents’ desire that the island’s special heritage sites and experiences will be preserved, the environment protected, and recreation and access opportunities for all of the people will be enhanced and protected for all time.