LIHUE — Six proposals created by County Councilmembers Luke Evslin and Mason Chock aimed at cutting fees associated with home-building on Kauai and subsidies for additional rental units came before the council Wednesday and were unanimously passed.
It is estimated the housing deficit on Kauai stands at nearly 1,400 units. The proposals created by Evslin and Chock are an example of an “out-of-the-box approach” to alleviate excess fees.
“The average price of a single-family house on Kauai exceeds $700,000,” the county’s general plan reads. “A large majority of our population, especially low- and moderate-income working families, seniors, and the houseless population cannot afford such costs. Demand is projected to increase by approximately 9,000 units by 2035.”
All of the bills were amendments to the county code relating to additional rental units.
• Bill 2740 grants the County Housing Agency the authority to establish the definition of an affordable ARU as well as waives the zoning permit filing and processing fee for certified ARUs.
• Bill 2741 waives environmental impact assessment fees for certified affordable ARUs.
• Bill 2742 extends the housing development fund to allow the fund to be used to subsidize the facilities reserve charge for qualified affordable ARUs.
• Bill 2743 waives wastewater treatment assessment fees for certified affordable ARUs and allows for the assessment fee to be recovered for ARUs which fall out of affordability within three years.
• Bill 2744 waives building permit fees for ARUs, including fees associated with electrical and plumbing.
• Bill 2745 allows for ARUs to be built on Rice Street in Lihue.
The draft bills now go before the Planning Commission for approval, prompting Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro to comment that the council will probably see the bills “at least four more times.”
Ryan Collins, county reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.