Affordable housing on council agenda

LIHUE — Two resolutions — one regarding the Lima Ola Workforce Housing Project and one that reaffirms the policy to allow the council to acquire land for affordable housing — will be considered by the Kauai County Council on Wednesday.

The Lima Ola Workforce Housing Project was proposed to address the affordable housing shortage on Kauai. Located in Eleele, at the intersection of Halewili Road and Kaumualii Highway, the 75-acre development will add 550 residential units to Kauai’s affordable housing inventory.

Units include single family, multi-family and senior resident units, and will be available to households earning from 80 percent and below 140 percent of Kauai’s median household income.

The development, which will be completed in four phases, will also have green sustainable energy efficiency features, a community center, vegetated drainage swales, landscaped areas, a water storage tank, and bike and pedestrian paths, according to a draft environmental assessment.

Construction is slated to begin in fall 2017. The project received $13 million from the state Legislature this year.

Resolution No. 2016-53 asks the council to approve exemptions to Lima Ola, which were submitted by the Housing Agency in August.

The exemptions are pursuant to Section 201H-38 of the Hawaii Revised Statues, which says affordable housing projects may be exempt from statues, ordinances and other guidelines relating to planning, zoning and construction standards for subdivisions and land development.

Those exemptions include: a minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet, a minimum of two off-street parking spaces per unit and a minimum average lot area of 3,000 square feet.

On Wednesday, the council also will discuss Resolution No. 2016-54, which reaffirms the council policy to require land to build affordable housing developments.

According to the resolution, the council is able to acquire land if there is a need for additional affordable housing options on the island.

The resolution states that the 2011 Hawaii Housing Policy Study revealed that “a shortage of affordable ownership and rental units on Kauai will result in a need of approximately 925 units in the zero to 80 percent of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, median income range, by 2016.”

The council meets at 8:30 a.m. in the Historic County Building.

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