New Developments Support Thriving Community

WO-Brandon-Elefante-MugElefante’s Connections…City Councilman Brandon Elefante

Transit-oriented Development (TOD)

As the rail columns rise around us, and we keep a close eye on financing and construction efforts, our focus continues to be on what our community and neighborhoods will look like around the rail stations.

This is a unique opportunity to create areas where we can live, work and play.

With the development of neighborhood transit-oriented development (TOD) plans, each community can focus on the areas within .5 and .25 miles of the rail line.

We can work together to improve our communities, increase the walkability and livability of these areas, and also have more housing opportunities and business options.

It is an opportunity to address current conditions and plan for future needs.

Mixed-use zoning to develop economically vibrant neighborhoods will be a more efficient use of land, reducing transportation costs and providing convenient access to transit options, shopping, offices, housing, and civic and community spaces.

More importantly, it will also encourage more walkable neighborhoods.

The City Council adopted the “Celebrate Waipahu” Waipahu Neighborhood TOD Plan and the Aiea-Pearl City Neighborhood TOD Plan. Each plan lists priority projects.

View the current plans available on the city website at

The next step is the city Department of Planning and Permitting’s review of the adopted plans.

They are currently preparing land-use change recommendations that will be submitted to the council for further review and consideration.

In my role as chairman of the Business, Economic Development and Tourism Committee, I will be focusing on these plans and looking particularly at the integration of rail into the redevelopment, improvement and beautification of our neighborhoods, with a particular interest in assuring that additional housing opportunities are integrated into new development along the rail line.

Please share your concerns and suggestions, as this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to plan our community’s future.

Charter Commission Review to Begin

Formal review of the city’s charter takes place only once every 10 years. The Charter Commission is tasked to conduct a review of the operations of city government.

There will be a Charter Commission established this year. Section 15-105, Revised Charter of the City and County of Honolulu, provides that after Nov. 1 of every year ending in “4,” but before the immediate following Feb. 1, the mayor and the presiding officer of the Council shall appoint a Charter Commission consisting of 13 members.

These 13 appointed members were approved at the council meeting last month.

The Commission may propose amendments to the existing charter or draft a revised charter, which all must be submitted to the city clerk at any time prior to Sept. 1 of the year ending in “6.”

The city clerk then submits the amendments or revised charter to voters at the next general election, which will be in November 2016.

Traditionally, there has been extensive community outreach about charter changes, so look for public meetings that may be held across Oahu to take any comments and suggestions for city charter changes.

If there are charter changes you would like to discuss with my office, please contact me at 768-5008 or at Mahalo!

Brandon Elefante represents Honolulu City Council’s District 8, which includes Aiea, Pearl City and Waipahu.