Sunday, June 23, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, March 24, 2024
Cost of NIMBYism way too high
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 9:58 PM :: 1824 Views :: Honolulu County, Development, Land Use

Cost of NIMBYism way too high

by Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President/CEO Grassroot Institute, March 23, 2024

Through the years, each of my weekly letters to you has concluded with the Hawaiian phrase “E hana kākou” (“Let’s work together”) as a reminder of how important it is for us to find common ground as we work toward establishing a more free and prosperous Hawaii for all.

Recently, that’s been happening in spades, especially on the housing issue.

Over the past few months, my colleagues and I at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii have joined with many state and county lawmakers and community organizations to promote research-backed proposals that could help end what our governor elevated last July to emergency status: the state’s housing shortage and high home prices.

Recommended policies have included streamlining homebuilding permitting procedures and reforming zoning laws to allow more homes in Hawaii’s urban cores, where residential housing and infrastructure already exist.

Two bills in particular at the 2024 Legislature that have gained wide support, HB1630 and SB3202, would legalize smaller homes on smaller lots.

But sometimes it’s hard to get absolutely everyone on board for a specific program, no matter how good the goal, and all of that encouraging collaboration I was talking about now is at risk.

“Not in my backyard” advocates, or NIMBYs as they are called, turned up on Thursday at a meeting of the Honolulu City Council’s Committee on Planning and the Economy to voice strong support for a proposed county resolution that would urge the state Legislature to reject those two bills.

Sad to say, the committee approved Resolution 24-65, which contains most of the usual anti-housing rhetoric, and even claims that making it easier to create smaller, more affordable homes would somehow result in more so-called monster homes.

This unfortunate campaign of misinformation and scare tactics has emerged at the eleventh hour to discredit the very zoning strategies that cities across the country, and even around the world, have implemented with great success.

As I wrote to you five weeks ago — in a letter optimistically titled “True housing reform seems a strong possibility” — NPR reported that “changing zoning rules to allow more housing” is “the hottest trend in U.S. cities.”

And that’s where the two bills HB1630 and SB3202 come into the picture. As Kealii Lopez of AARP Hawaii and Sterling Higa of Housing Hawaii’s Future wrote in Honolulu Civil Beat on Wednesday, Hawaii needs more housing options for young professionals, families and kupuna, and enacting either of these two bills would help make that happen.

Opponents of such reforms claim that their neighborhoods will change. But change will happen anyway. The only questions are how slowly and at what cost?

The current cost is that our friends and family are leaving the islands in record numbers for more affordable lives on the mainland.

I understand the nostalgia for the past, but it is time for us to acknowledge that the Hawaii of 30, 40, 50 years ago cannot be the Hawaii of today — and that the status quo our NIMBY friends demand is simply not sustainable.

I hope our state lawmakers will be courageous enough to do the right thing for Hawaii and open the door to change.


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii