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Sunday, March 24, 2024
Grassroot Institute Bills on the Move
By Grassroot Institute @ 10:10 PM :: 1478 Views :: Development, Land Use

Grassroot Institute Bills on the Move

from Grassroot Institute

Bills that could ease housing crisis take flak at Honolulu City Council

Misinformation and scare tactics prompt some Council members to approve a resolution opposing two state housing reform bills

Some Honolulu lawmakers went on the record yesterday opposing two state bills that could significantly ease Hawaii's emergency-status housing crisis.

Responding to misinformation and scare tactics about what the bills would do, the Honolulu City Council’s Planning and Economy Committee approved a resolution that would urge the state Legislature to reject HB1630 and SB3202, which would allow smaller homes on smaller lots.

Research shows that such zoning changes work, which is why many prominent individuals and local organizations, including even the state Land Use Commission and all four county planning departments, have been supporting the two bills.

The full Honolulu City Council plans to hear the misguided resolution at its next meeting on Monday, March 25. The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii will be submitting testimony opposing it, just as it did for yesterday's committee hearing, which you can read here.

In yesterday's Honolulu Civil Beat, Kealii Lopez of AARP Hawaii and Sterling Higa of Housing Hawaii's Future wrote that allowing homes on smaller plots of land would provide "missing middle" options that are lacking for young professionals, families, and kupuna.

"Duplexes, triplexes, townhomes and accessory dwelling units offer a middle ground between single-family homes and large apartment buildings," they wrote. "But to build them, we need to allow and permit them."

If you wish to voice your support for HB1630 and SB3202, click here to quickly write an email to your state legislators.

A hearing for SB3202 has been scheduled for Monday, April 1, starting at 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, supporters of the bills have created a new website called "Homes for our ohana," which features a 2-minute video that examines different aspects of the state bills and helps illustrate what they would look like if implemented. Below are images from the explanatory video.

These scenes from the new video show how lot-splitting and allowing more than one ohana or accessory dwelling unit per lot would increase Hawaii's housing supply without significantly changing the character of existing neighborhoods. See the video here.

Also on the legislative front …

Grassroot has been tracking bills and resolutions related to housing, healthcare and other important topics as they make their way through the 2024 legislative session. Proposals for which it submitted testimony during the past week include:

>> SCR94/SR80: "SCR94/SR80 would authorize study telehealth in Hawaii"

>> HCR101/HR82: “Hawaii healthcare system in dire need of CON law reform

>> HCR125/HR106: “Authorize study to examine full potential of telehealth

>> HCR122/HR102: “HCR122/HR102 would urge counties to adopt YIGBY law

>> HB1675 HD1: “HB1675 HD1 would end Hawaii’s outlier tax status

>> SB2044 SD2 HD1: “SB2044 SD2 HD1 could backfire on realty market

>> HB1838 HD2: “Amend HB1838 HD2 to ensure compensation to STR owners

>> HB2364 HD2: “Conveyance tax hikes aimed at wealthy would hurt all

>> HB2089 HD2: “Counties should have more time to update building codes

>> HB2090 HD1: “Mixed-use housing bill deserves ‘strong support’

>> HB2133 Proposed HB1: “Proposed change to HB2144 could thwart cottage foods

Honolulu County

As mentioned above, the Honolulu City Council's Committee on Planning and the Economy approved a proposed resolution that would express the Council's opposition to state bills HB1630 and SB3202. Grassroot submitted testimony opposing the proposal, and will continue to oppose this measure when it goes before the full Council on Monday. Read the testimony below.

>> RESOLUTION 24-65: “Allowing smaller lots and homes would benefit families, promote affordability

Take action now on housing and healthcare

Please help make sure these important housing and healthcare bills make it to the governor's desk for final approval.

The housing bills are HB1630 and SB3202, which would reduce minimum lot sizes, allow lot subdivision and reform impact fee calculations; and HB2090 and SB2948, which would allow residential uses in commercial zones.

The healthcare bills are HB2415 and SB2492, which would enter Hawaii into the Nurse Licensure Compact and allow nurses licensed in other states to practice in Hawaii; and HB1675, which would exempt primary care physicians from the state general excise tax.

Visit the Grassroot Institute's "Take action" page where you can find sample wording to customize. Then just enter your contact info, hit “send,” and an email will be sent to your state representative and senator.




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