Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The County of Kauai Considers Workforce Housing Ordinance

On October 25, 2006, Bill 2202, which was introduced by Councilmember Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, passed its first reading unanimously. The Bill would add a section to the Kauai County Code titled, Housing Policy for the County of Kauai.

The Bill affects residential, large resort, commercial, and industrial developments. Affected developments would be required to provide housing that is affordable to households earning up to 180 percent of the Kauai median household income as determined by HUD. In 2005 numbers, that would be household incomes of up to $104,220.00 for a family of four.

The exactions are triggered by new zoning district boundary amendments where (1) a residential development creates 5 or more units, or (2) a resort, commercial, or industrial development includes 50 or more rooms or is estimated to generate 100 or more new, full-time equivalent jobs. Affected developments must dedicate 10% of its land with infrastructure to the county for households earning under 80 percent of the median, and sell 30% of its units to incomes up to 180% of the median. The requirements may be satisfied in the form of housing units, rental units, in-lieu land, or in-lieu fees.

The Bill provides few benefits including waiver of certain assessment fees and expedited processing. But unlike Maui’s affordable housing ordinance, the Kauai bill does not provide a mechanism for challenging the housing requirements where the applicant can show that there is no nexus between a specific project and housing requirements under the bill.

The Kauai County Council’s Community Assistance/Intergovernmental Relations Committee will be holding a workshop to discuss the proposed Bill on June 19, 2007. The agenda is available online here.

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