County Council grapples with TAU growth bill

NAWILIWILI — The Kaua‘i County Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday deferred Bill 2410, regulating the growth of transient accommodation units, for another month to “digest” an amendment that substantially changes it.

Interim Planning Director Michael Dahilig said the amendment he put forward still keeps the growth-slope at 1.5 percent — which was the wish of voters who approved the charter amendment in the November 2008 election. But the amendment decreases allocation of new TAU certificates at 1 percent.

“What we are proposing is that the council only delegates 1 percent a year versus 1.5 percent a year,” Dahilig said. “In that … you are creating a lower level of prospective growth while recognizing that you are going to have units that are from the exempt or from the non-applicable categories.”

Some of the main topics in previous meetings included which pre-approved developments get to receive an exemption from the charter amendment, and how to keep the growth at 1.5 percent while still allowing those developments to go forward.

The Planning Department’s proposal was well accepted by North Shore resident Carl Imparato, who was instrumental as part of the Coalition for Responsible Government in getting enough signatures to put the charter amendment question before voters in November 2008.

There are about 9,203 TAUs on Kaua‘i, and another 4,650 pre-approved TAUs, according to the Planning Department.

The committee deferred the bill to Sept. 18 so there would be time to “digest” it, as Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura said.

The meeting scheduled for Sept. 14 was canceled because that week the council will be moving back to its original home at the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e.

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