Letter for Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Concerns about Bill 2774

Bill 27774, an amendment to Chapter 7A of the County Code relating to housing policy, includes language exempting developers from having to build any affordable units in their developments, for the next ten years. Now, developers must build about 30% of units to be affordable. This bill, if made law, will do away with that.

Bill 2774 runs away from the problem. It is an expression of the small government, trickle down economic policy that crashed the economy in 2008 after banks were deregulated and has produced massive wealth disparity, worse here on Kaua‘i than nationally.

Don’t experiment on the “workforce” population. De-regulating the building industry and thinking the hidden hand of the marketplace is going to produce homes that wage earners can afford is a disproven fantasy.

Don’t cause a citizen swap of malahinis with no understanding of local culture for our Class of 2020 and beyond, forced off their generational home for the financial gain of a few large landowners and investors. Large parcel landowners and developers will design projects to meet the demand of mainland and foreign buyers ready to pay a high price for their piece of paradise, safe from the pandemic. There won’t be any leftovers for local buyers to pick up, as proponents of this bill wishfully think.

The County needs affordable housing. The fact that since 2007 when the 30% requirement went into effect there has been little housing produced through the developer industry process isn’t the fault of the ordinance. The County and its citizens need to redouble their efforts to meet the problem head on by adopting the same aggressive and innovative mindset that has applied to the COVID-19 invasion.

Kip Goodwin, Kapa‘a

  1. rk669 July 7, 2020 5:35 am Reply

    Citizens of Kauai being Sold out by our Elected Officials?

  2. nobody July 7, 2020 7:23 am Reply


    “Citizen Swap”. Kauai has been in this swap for some time now. Covid has accelerated the pace.

    Soon more generational locals will be living in Washington, Oregon and Vegas for a lack of housing.

    Vote for action on creating housing and Jobs for the local population.

  3. Westside Resident July 7, 2020 7:26 am Reply

    Evidence that entitlements divide society.

  4. RSW July 7, 2020 9:02 am Reply

    “It is an expression of the small government, trickle down economic policy that crashed the economy in 2008 after banks were deregulated and has produced massive wealth disparity, worse here on Kaua‘i than nationally.”

    Small government the problem? Sorry Kip but you are absolutely wrong. In fact the problem is just the opposite: too much and too big government meddling in our affairs. Also massive inflation of the currency that led to careless mal-investment…that created a housing and stock market bubble that eventually burst. This brought down a huge destruction of wealth for those caught by this disaster. Here is some truth for you from a noted historian/economist:
    First, though a dumb opinion (kinda sounds like what you’ve said in the quote above): “[Reagan’s] deregulation of the banks is why we had the housing/economic crash in 2008.”
    “That statement is completely fact-free,… the sort of person who utters it doesn’t really need facts. He just knows deregulation must have caused it.
    In fact, financial deregulation began under Jimmy Carter, and was bipartisan. It also had precisely zero to do with a financial crisis that occurred 28 years later.
    Removing limits on interest rates had nothing to do with the housing crash. Neither did allowing interstate branch banking, or even allowing investment and commercial banks to be held by the same holding company (the “partial repeal of Glass-Steagall”). Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch were all stand-alone investment banks, after all.
    The fortunes of AIG and New Century Financial also had nothing to do with Glass-Steagall.
    Meanwhile, commercial banks got in trouble for doing things banks had always been allowed to do, regulation or no: they made bad mortgage loans.
    Why the sudden cluster of bad mortgage loans, when banks could have been making such loans all along? Answer: artificial and massive interference into the mortgage market by the federal government and the Federal Reserve, as I showed in my New York Times bestseller Meltdown and my 2011 book Rollback.
    As for the S&L crisis of the 1980s, that had about as little to do with the free market as it is possible to imagine. (Details in Rollback.)
    As F.A. Hayek said, if you get history wrong, you’re going to do the wrong things in the present.
    So we have to get history right.”

  5. Norm Smith July 7, 2020 5:31 pm Reply

    Sadly…. Tourism was embraced by the wealthy elite long ago… and to think that now, without it …… the economy can magically survive without it, is foolish to say the least . The Airlines will continue to bring viruses without regard to the island people. Protect your keikis and kapuna because your leaders are tied to tourism and will never change…. until a virus like ebola arrives

  6. james July 8, 2020 7:41 am Reply

    What do you love most about Kauai? If you’re like most of us, you appreciate the beauty, the rural feel, the small-town atmosphere, and the quality of life. Do we really need to build, build build? Why? We already have more traffic than our roads can handle. Our trash and other infrastructure is overburdened. Let’s slow down before we become another Honolulu. Let’s not destroy the unique rural atmosphere of Kauai by unbridled growth.

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