Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, March 28, 2024
Council resolution exemplifies why we still have housing crisis
By Grassroot Institute @ 12:00 PM :: 1277 Views :: Honolulu County, Development, Land Use

County resolution exemplifies why we still have housing crisis

from Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Honolulu City Council on March 25, 2024.
______________

March 25, 2024, 10 a.m.
Honolulu Hale

To: Honolulu City Council
      Tommy Waters, Chair
      Esther Kiaʻāina, Vice-Chair

From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
            Ted Kefalas, Director of Strategic Campaigns

RE: OPPOSITION to RESOLUTION 24-65 CD1 — EXPRESSING THE HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL’S STRONG CONCERNS RELATING TO HOUSE BILL 1630, H.D. 1, AND SENATE BILL 3202, S.D. 2, RELATING TO URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Aloha Chair Waters, Vice-Chair Kiaʻāina and other members of the Committee,

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii would like to offer its comments in opposition to Resolution 24-65 CD1, which would express the Council’s opposition to HB1630 HD1 and SB3202 SD2.

These two measures would increase Hawaii’s housing supply not only on Oahu but throughout all of the islands by allowing smaller homes on smaller lots. This would help lower housing costs and remove the need for many Hawaii residents to move to the mainland in search of more affordable housing.

Contrary to some rumors, this bill would not legalize so-called monster homes in Hawaii, and it would not overburden water and wastewater infrastructure.

In fact, this bill would actually be the antidote to monster homes.

By legalizing smaller homes on smaller lots, the HB1630 HD1 draft would allow only one more accessory dwelling per lot than is currently allowed under Honolulu zoning code. Under the bill, homeowners could build two ADUs on their lots instead of one.

Allowing these smaller homes on smaller lots would mirror a powerful approach many states and cities across the county have already used to increase housing supply. These include Minneapolis, Minnesota; Houston, Texas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Columbus, Ohio, as well as the entire states of California and Montana.[1]  Auckland, New Zealand, is a good international example.[2]

All of these places have upzoned their residential areas to allow greater housing density on lands already zoned for housing — and the research indicates these changes work. They have increased supply and lowered home prices.[3]

Incidentally, this is not a new idea for Hawaii. In 2004, Honolulu adopted a Primary Urban Center Development Plan that was intended to promote additional housing choices. One main policy in that plan was to improve the feasibility of redeveloping small lots.[4] Twenty years later, we are still having the same conversations because of continued inaction by the previous Councils.

Perhaps because we didn’t adopt this policy 20 years ago is why we find ourselves grappling with monster homes now. Monster homes exceed or push the legal limits of large single lots. Smaller, more affordable units built on reduced footprints, with appropriate setbacks and height limits, are a reasonable way to increase the number of housing units while disincentivizing the construction of monster homes.

As the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii pointed out in its recent report, “How to facilitate more homebuilding in Hawaii,” smaller lots would reduce project costs and homebuilders would find it financially feasible to build smaller, less expensive homes.

Multigenerational families would also benefit. There are many instances today where you have tutu, mom, dad and adult children living under one roof. This bill would allow the homeowner to construct two ADUs so that everyone could have their own space.

Regarding the concerns about adequate infrastructure, HB1630 HD1 and SB3202 SD2 already address these concerns by allowing counties to “reject a permit application for development on the residential lot if the county determines there is insufficient infrastructure for the development.”

In light of these myths and the real benefits these bills would bring to Honolulu residents, we would urge the committee to defer this resolution — at the very least, remove the language requesting an exemption for the City and County of Honolulu.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

Ted Kefalas
Director of Strategic Campaigns
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
_____________

KAUAI: ‘Guest house’ proposal, Bill 2919, could provide multiple benefits | Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

[1] Laurel Wamsley, “The hottest trend in U.S. cities? Changing zoning rules to allow more housing,” NPR, Feb. 17, 2024.
[2] Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy, “Can Zoning Reform Reduce Housing Costs? Evidence from Rents in Auckland,” University of Auckland Business School, Economic Policy Centre Working Paper No. 016, June 2023.
[3] Christina Plerhoples Stacy, Christopher Davis, Yonah Freemark, Lydia Lo, Graham MacDonald, Vivian Zheng and Rolf Pendall, “Land-Use Reforms and Housing Costs,” Urban Institute, March 29, 2023; and Vicki Been, Ingrid Gould Ellen and Katherine M. O’Regan, “Supply Skepticism Revisited,” New York University Law and Economics Research Paper forthcoming, Nov. 10, 2023
[4]Primary Urban Center Development Plan,” Department of Planning and Permitting, City and County of Honolulu, June 2004.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

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

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

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 Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT