Friday, August 10, 2007

Property Owners Breath a Sigh of Relief as Hawaii Mayor Veto's Affordable Housing Bill

On August 1, 2007, Mayor Harry Kim of the County of Hawaii vetoed Bill 156 and Bill 112 relating to affordable housing.

Bill 112 would have extended the County’s affordable housing policy to the subdivision process. Under the County’s current affordable housing policy, affordable housing requirements are triggered during rezoning. If the Bill passed, property owners who completed zoning years ago, prior to enactment of the affordable housing policy, would be required to comply during subdivision. The Bill included family subdivisions.

In a previous post, I discussed the problems with Bill 156, which extends the County's affordable housing policy to non-residential projects. Mayor Kim vetoed the Bill for reasons similar to what I discussed, namely a nexus study was not prepared to justify the imposition of affordable housing on non-residential projects. It is accepted constitutional law that for a government to avoid a takings challenge (i.e., the situation where a government must pay a property owner for taking his/her property) the government must show that the condition imposed mitigates an impact created by the proposed project. Bill 156 implies that all non-residential projects impact the demand for workforce or affordable housing without proof.

Council Chairman Pete Hoffmann is considering whether to override both vetoes when the council meets Aug. 15 in Kailua-Kona.

See, Jim Quirk, Kim vetos two housing bills in surprise move, Haw. Herald Tribune, Aug. 3, 2007, and Jim Quirk, Council looks to override Kim veto, Haw. Herald Tribune, Aug. 9, 2007.

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