LIHUE — The Kauai County Council unanimously passed a bill Thursday that allows multiple dwelling units in all residential zoning areas.
Under Bill 2634, Kauai residents are allowed to construct a multiple family dwelling unit on their property, no matter their zoning district.
“We are in a housing crisis and the passage of Bill 2634 is a positive step toward resolving our housing problem, but it is not a solve all,” said Councilman Arryl Kaneshiro, who introduced the bill. “It simply tries to encourage housing with the opportunity for reduced construction costs.”
The bill gives homeowners in the R-1 (one unit per acre) through R-6 (six units per acre) zoning designations the ability to construct the units on their property. Originally, those homeowners would have to apply for a use permit to build on their property.
“This bill gives a property owner the flexibility and option to connect units rather than build separate units,” Kaneshiro said. “This gives them the opportunity for reduced construction costs due to a single roof, shared walls, and lower infrastructure costs by running utilities to one location rather than to separate locations.”
The bill also reduces facitlity reserves charge cost for water from roughly $15,000 per unit to $9,800 per unit, which equates to nearly $10,000 of cost savings for every two units. Attached units will also create more open space on a property.
It does not increase density and all county laws like setbacks, height restrictions and lot coverage, remain in effect.