Published in The Maui News July 20, 2014
By GLADYS C. BAISA, for The Maui News
An alcohol ban at Kamaole Beach Park II in Kihei and funding for affordable-housing projects in Kula, Lahaina and Wailuku are among the proposals before the Maui County Council on Tuesday at 9 a.m.
Bill 41, introduced by Council Member Don Couch of Kihei, was passed on first reading July 8 and has been supported by the Maui Police Department and local residents to support public safety at the beach. They’ve said the incidence of criminal complaints has decreased at other South Maui beaches since similar prohibitions on alcohol consumption went into effect.
The Budget and Finance Committee has recommended approval of legislation supporting three affordable-housing projects. The bills cumulatively authorize the use of more than $11 million from the county’s affordable-housing fund.
The supported projects include the county’s 56-unit Kulamalu project in Upcountry Maui, Na Hale O Maui’s 12-lot Kahoma development in Lahaina, and Habitat for Humanity’s 16-unit Kahawai condominium in Wailuku. The projects’ units are intended to be affordable for those earning 50 to 120 percent of the area median income.
The council will also give initial review to a drought plan submitted by Water Director David Taylor. In addition, the council will receive from Planning Director Will Spence a bill that would repeal the requirement that business signs be placed at an establishment’s entrance, allowing proprietors more flexibility.
The Arakawa administration has requested authorization to issue more than $19 million in bonds to fund various fiscal year 2015 projects. The council will preliminarily review the request, which indicates approval is needed by September.
Council Member Mike Victorino of Wailuku has submitted a bill to establish that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements be prepared under the Department of Planning’s direction, with expenses paid by applicants seeking land use entitlements. The proposal arises from suggestions provided by members of the Maui General Plan Advisory Committee.
The council will hear on second and final reading Bill 40, which would amend the criteria for the real property tax credit commonly referred to as the “circuit breaker.” According to a report by the Budget and Finance Committee, the bill’s purpose is to “increase the likelihood the tax credit will benefit the homeowners it was intended to assist.”
The council will review the Land Use Committee’s recommendation to approve Alexander & Baldwin’s 94-acre, 600-unit Kihei Residential Community Project. The committee has proposed 16 conditions to mitigate the development’s impacts in the Kihei-Makena Community Plan area.
Review the meeting agenda and committee reports at the council’s website: www.mauicounty.gov/council. Testimony may be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A hui hou.
* Gladys Baisa is chairwoman of the Maui County Council and holds the council’s Pukalani-Kula-Ulupalakua area residency seat. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters.
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