Council to workshop housing policy with stakeholders

LIHU‘E — Tomorrow, the Kaua‘i County Council will have an explanatory workshop to discuss the contentious reform of Ordinance 860, the county’s housing policy from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

As chair of the Housing and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, Councilmember KipuKai Kuali‘i will host a Housing Policy Workshop on Bill No. 2774. Housing Agency Director Adam Roversi will join the committee to explain the current policy and address the proposed amendments.

The main points of the bill will be discussed, including: the Workforce Housing Assessment for Residential Developments, Multi-Family Workforce Housing Special Assessment, Workforce Housing Assessment for Resort Developments within the VDA, and Term of Affordability, a county representative said.

Stakeholders and “resource persons” include representatives from the development community, affordable housing community, as well as, previous housing and development stakeholders.

Bill No. 2774, currently in its third draft, was first introduced in the winter and deferred to the spring. In July, the council opted to workshop the bill publicly as residents and stakeholders alike voiced concerns, some in response to the changing economy in lieu of the coronavirus pandemic.

The last time the council held a workshop was back in 2016 as they weighed introducing a council-manager form of government.

Public testimony will be accepted at the beginning of the workshop.

The council last took a stab at Bill 2774 at its meeting on July 23. Then, an amendment to establish a base-percentage of affordable housing units resort developers were required to offer, was passed. Resort developments to provide at least 50% of the development in workforce housing or provide at least 35% and submit an independent analysis that supports less.

A workshop is an informational session and will not result in voting on amendments.

In other business, the council will look at a bill for an ordinance amending Chapter 5A of the Kaua‘i County Code, relating to real property taxes. This bill, being introduced Wednesday, would limit part-time residents from banking in on the homestead exemption and qualifying for an assessment cap. The ordinance will increase the number of days a homeowner needs to occupy the residency from 181 days to 271.

“There is some speculation that with increasing telework opportunities due to COVID-19, we may see an influx of mainland workers who now want to live here while maintaining their current mainland employer,” county Finance Director Reiko Matsuyama wrote in a memorandum to the council.

Part of the ordinance will also further inline Kaua‘i with neighbor island policies.

“In analyzing the home exemption requirement of other counties, we realize that our laws are much more lenient allowing part-time residents to take advantage of the exemption,” Matsuyama wrote.

If approved, the county will also seek to “tighten up the application requirements” by making an applicant file a Hawai‘i income tax return with a Kaua‘i address.

The council will meet for a regular meeting and committee meetings at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The public can stream the event via kauai.gov/Webcast-Meetings.

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Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

1 Comments
  1. Sarah August 18, 2020 7:18 am Reply

    Please County of Kauai- reconsider allowing ADU on Ag zoned land with certain conditions. This could allow families to have adult children or other family members live on the their ag zoned land and assist with farming. This will also support farm worker housing!! Now with better management of illegal use of ADU’s on ag zoned land- its time to reconsider this valuable option.


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