Housing bill up for final reading

LIHUE — The fate of a bill that will give the county ownership over units in an affordable housing development will be decided Wednesday.

Under Bill No. 2644, the county will be able to purchase the units built in the first phase of Ho’oluana at Kohea Leo if its developers, D.R. Horton, cannot sell them at 140 percent of Kauai’s median income.

During the first phase of the project, which is expected to begin in the spring, 151 single-family and duplex units will be built, 20 percent of which will be affordable.

Prices for the units begin in the high $400,000s. And if D.R. Horton cannot sell them at that price, the county wants to be able to purchase 32 duplexes, which are 3-bedroom and 2.5-bath units, and sell them at a lower price.

The bill reads: “In the event that any of the 32 duplex affordable housing units are not under contract for purchase within the six-month sales period, the county may purchase the unit(s) at the same price that the developer is required to sell the affordable housing unit to the intended income group.”

The development, which is located in Hanamaulu at the intersection of Kapule and Kuhio highways, is a partnership between D.R. Horton and the County of Kauai to increase affordable housing options on Kauai.

As such, priority goes to Kauai residents who do not own fee simple or leasehold property in the United States and who are income-qualified buyers, according to the bill.

On Feb. 1, the Planning Committee unanimously approved Bill No. 2644 and recommended passing it at full council.

Also on Wednesday, the council will discuss a proposal to establish three pedestrian access and parking easements along Weliweli Road in Koloa.

In installing these extra easements, county officials hope to offer more parking options on the road, according to the Grant of Easement proposal sent to the council.

Officials also want to add a 30-foot wide easement at the shoreline along Weliweli Road to allow for pedestrian access.

The county council meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Historic County Building.


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