LUC reform would assist cut back homebuilding delays in Hawaii

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The next testimony was offered Feb. 1, 2023, by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii to the Home Committee on Housing.

To: Home Committee on Housing
Rep. Troy N. Hashimoto, Chair
Rep. Micah P.Okay. Aiu, Vice Chair


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


Feedback Solely

Expensive Chair and Committee Members:

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii want to supply its feedback on HB670, which might streamline the method by which the state Land Use Fee acts on boundary amendments.

Beneath this invoice, the variety of affirmative votes required for a boundary modification can be diminished from six to a easy majority.

As well as, the variety of days from submitting a petition through which the fee should maintain a listening to can be diminished from 180 to 120, and the variety of days through which the fee should act to approve, deny, or modify the petition can be diminished from 365 to 180.

This invoice accurately identifies and addresses one of many main causes for the gradual development of housing on this state: the delays attributable to a number of layers of bureaucratic approvals.

Delays in county and state approvals — whether or not attributable to allowing backlogs or the difficulties of navigating Hawaii’s multitiered approval course of — are one of many causes Hawaii’s common approval delay is 3 times the nationwide imply.[1]

We commend this committee for contemplating a invoice that would scale back such delays at LUC.

Over time, the LUC has developed right into a sort of state-level zoning and approval company, which has added to the delay and forms confronted by these seeking to develop extra housing. A Grassroot Institute of Hawaii report, “Reform the Hawaii LUC to encourage extra housing,” mentioned how state policymakers might encourage the expansion of housing by reexamining the function and goal of the LUC.

The Grassroot report targeted closely on methods to scale back the scope of the LUC, leaving it free to deal with statewide environmental points and district boundary amendments of conservation lands. Nevertheless it additionally promoted the concept of constructing the LUC extra environment friendly usually.

Additional reform ought to have a look at methods to proceed refocusing the LUC to raised obtain its unique goal, however within the quick time period, this invoice would assist cut back the anticipate housing developments that require LUC approval.

For anybody who needs to see extra properties constructed, enactment of this invoice can be an necessary and really welcome step ahead. We urge the committee to cross this invoice.

Thanks for the chance to submit our feedback.


Ted Kefalas
Director of Strategic Campaigns
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

[1] Rachel Inafuku, Justin Tyndall and Carl Bonham, “Measuring the Burden of Housing Regulation in Hawaii,” Financial Analysis Group on the College of Hawaii, April 14, 2022, p.7.