S Memo 10-3

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 in Informal Opinions - Sunshine Law

S Memo 10-3
August 6, 2009
Sufficiency of Notice

OIP was asked whether a meeting notice for the Land Use Committee of the Maui County Council (the “Land Use Committee”) concerning the rezoning of a parcel of land was rendered insufficient under the Sunshine Law where the street address of the parcel was incorrectly noted. 

The agenda item at issue listed a bill for an ordinance to change the zoning of a 25 acre parcel of land (the “Church Parcel”) from Agricultural District to Public/Quasi-Public District to allow for the development and operation of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church and School. The agenda item included the parcel’s tax map key number, but listed an incorrect address, which OIP understood was not anywhere near the Church Parcel.

OIP found that a correct street address was material to a proper notice because it would allow a member of the public to reasonably identify the property that was subject to the rezoning. Although the tax map key number was correct, the fact remained that the street address given for the Church Parcel in fact identified a different property than the one to be considered for rezoning. A member of the public interested in the rezoning of the Church Parcel understandably might not, from the defective notice given, have had the information necessary to decide whether to participate in the meeting. OIP believes that it is reasonable for the public to rely on the street address alone to identify the parcel subject to rezoning. OIP thus concluded that the erroneous street address rendered the notice insufficient under the Sunshine Law.