Thursday, May 19, 2022 |
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ï¿½ Timeshare developers have their way
ï¿½ Bill 2204 goes further
ï¿½ Emissions conclusions, well …
ï¿½ Bring on EISs
Timeshare developers have their way
I recently saw the startling sight of the new timeshare complex being built at the end of Wylie Road in Princeville. Most of the buildings are three stories and clearly higher than the 25 feet allowed by Princeville restrictions and Kauai County regulations. How did the timeshare owner get a variance to build higher than regulations allow?
Why do timeshare developers seem to have their way with our county government? Members of our County Council throw a fit over tiny shelters on the bike path having roofs added. Yet massive buildings that block views and will create traffic congestion seem to get a free pass.
And now the timeshare developers are getting one more advantage on Kauaï¿½i … the County Council acting to eliminate their greatest competition ï¿½ small, family owned vacation rentals. The timeshare industry is the greatest, and maybe the only, beneficiary of the vacation rental bill. Very, very few who have used vacation rentals on Kauaï¿½i would purchase a timeshare. So why is the County Council being so considerate of the organized timeshare industry?
Members of the council say they are doing it to help people afford homes. The reality is, home prices go up easily but are very resistant to decline. Think about it. You see a neighbor sell his house for big bucks and you know your house is better. Will you ever take less for your home? What the council will accomplish is limiting the future rise of home prices as they take away some potential buyers. So the current homeownerï¿½s biggest asset will be limited in value in favor of making timeshares easier to sell.
A better alternative is to make the property owners who wish to build large developments provide 20 percent of their planned inventory for local buyers at greatly reduced cost. Make the large developers pay for low cost local housing. And make them build residences instead of timeshares.
Bill 2204 goes further
Walter Lewis, in his Sept. 8 Guest Viewpoint column, casts the current vacation rental controversy as a dilemma about the future of Kauaï¿½iï¿½s ag lands. But Kauai County Bill 2204 goes much further. The proposed law, as amended by councilmember Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, would outlaw all vacation rentals outside of the Visitor Destination Areas (an Orwellian concept, to be sure) of Princeville, Kapaï¿½a, Lihuï¿½e and Poiï¿½pu.
As Lewis himself notes: ï¿½Expenditures by tourists are the major dynamic for the island economy,ï¿½ and yet, incredibly, the County Council is on the verge of passing a law which would outlaw the great majority of rental facilities that accommodate those tourists.
The resulting effect on the islandï¿½s economy would be devastating, drastically impacting the local stores, rental outlets, and restaurants which serve the needs of Kauaï¿½iï¿½s visitors (and which provide, directly or indirectly, the majority of the islandï¿½s jobs). In addition, tens-of-millions of dollars in general excise and transient accommodations tax revenues would be lost.
Lewis tries to marginalize opponents of the bill as ï¿½Realtors and non-residents,ï¿½ but I have spoken with many local, working residents throughout the island who have expressed great concerns about Bill 2204 and its likely effects: shuttered businesses, an irreplaceable loss of jobs and tax revenues, and empty neighborhoods plagued by crime. Imagine a Hanalei or Haï¿½ena in which the majority of the houses sit empty, used only as second homes three to five weeks a year.
It is deeply disingenuous for Lewis and his colleagues to talk about ï¿½responsible developmentï¿½ while promoting an irresponsible bill that would gravely endanger the economy of the island. A moratorium on ag land subdivisions? Absolutely. But letï¿½s not confuse the issue: the real impact of this bill lies in a ban on existing vacation rentals in areas that have legally supported these uses for decades. The effect on our local economy, and on our way of life, could be nothing less than catastrophic.
Emissions conclusions, well …
Regarding Robert Tamï¿½s blatantly unscientific determinination of exhaust fume emissions from the cruise ship industry (ï¿½State says emission levels OK,ï¿½ A1, Sept. 10), all I can say is, ï¿½Nuts.ï¿½
Bring on EISs
EIS for Matson, Young Brothers, cruiseliners and others? Yes, bring it on.
How long can we pollute the oceans, bays and harbors and run ï¿½business as usualï¿½?
Michael Bowles, tug captain exclaims (ï¿½Weï¿½ll make room,ï¿½ Letters, Sept. 10): ï¿½I work on the interisland tugs towing barges loaded with everything from general cargo, fuel, cars, trees, bulk sand and cement, to name a few. There is no washing of cars or equipment; sand comes from the quarry directly to the barge and is off-loaded at the destination without a second look.ï¿½
Whatï¿½s wrong with this picture?
Can we justify the degradation of our environment, ocean, lands and rivers because itï¿½s good for the economy?
Why demonize ï¿½environmentalistsï¿½? People who want to protect the sea creatures, the quality of the water, and harbors from those who only care to make money?
Why canï¿½t big business be more environmentally friendly?
Our environment is why visitors come to visit. Why are we degrading it and justifying that it is convenient and profitable?
Kauaï¿½i is a very small island. It is sacred and culturally special. We degrade it with business ï¿½ventures,ï¿½ we degrade it for all, and especially for our children who will have to live here in the future.
Why werenï¿½t Matson, Young Brothers, the cruise ships required to take an EIS?
Where are our ï¿½defenders of the peopleï¿½ ï¿½ the politicians?
Kalapaki Bay is polluted. No signs are up. We have E. coli, and fuel oil in the bay. Will you send your visiting friends and relatives there to swim?
Hanalei Bay runs high E. coli counts too often, and one can smell and taste the gasoline fumes in the water. Cesspools run rampant into the bay every time it rains. But boat business creates jobs, and certainly we need jobs. But at what cost?
Are we so selfish as to subsist off the ï¿½aina, like a parasite, and not care about the consequences because it pays off?
Whatï¿½s more important to people; Legislators, and big business profits, or being stewards of the land and ocean? Protecting our environment or profiting from it?
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