Published in The Maui News, September 14, 2014
By GLADYS C. BAISA for The Maui News
On Friday at 9 a.m., the County Council is taking up several bills intended to improve county ordinances for second and final reading.
Bill 63 would revise the county’s sign law by allowing business managers to determine where to place signs identifying their businesses.
Current law requires businesses to install identification signs on the entrance side of stores and offices. But in some cases, the entrance side isn’t readily visible to the public.
Bill 64 would strengthen the County Code’s provisions on false alarms generated by faulty home security systems.
According to the Maui Police Department, 5,000 false alarms from such systems have been received since 1998, draining law-enforcement resources significantly. The bill would require business and home alarm systems to be registered, and would allow the police chief to suspend response to properties that have repetitive false alarms.
Bill 65 would provide clarity to the administration when implementing the policy of providing lower water rates to construction projects that are considered “infill development” in urban areas. By lowering water rates for these projects, the council encourages development in already urbanized areas as means of reducing infrastructure costs and preventing sprawl.
In addition, several important pieces of legislation will be considered by the council under committee reports posted on Friday’s agenda.
The Budget and Finance Committee has recommended passage of a bill appropriating $150,000 to allow for the reopening of Haiku’s Kalakupua Playground, which has been closed two years.
The committee has also recommended approval of a $7.1 million expenditure to purchase 4.1 acres from Alexander & Baldwin at Maui Business Park II in Kahului. The property is to be used for a new county service center.
The deal includes A&B’s donation to the county of more than 30 acres near Baldwin Beach in Paia.
The Human Services and Transportation Committee has recommended the council make a long-term commitment to Maui Youth & Family Services Inc. by adopting a resolution approving the lease of nearly 4 acres of county property in Makawao. The organization serves families through various outreach and advocacy programs, including emergency shelters, therapeutic foster care, and substance abuse treatment and prevention.
The proposed lease is for 25 years (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2040) for a nominal lease rent of $100 per year. The nonprofit has occupied the property since 1990, and the current lease expires next year.
Committees also meet this week.
On Wednesday morning at 9, the Water Resources Committee will again discuss the question of how much farming income should be required to qualify for agricultural water rates.
The Land Use Committee will continue its deliberations on the Hale Mahaolu Ewalu senior housing project in Pukalani on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
The Planning Committee has been working on a home business bill for much of the term, trying to balance the desire to provide more economic opportunity while preserving neighborhood character. The body’s deliberations on the subject may conclude in the meeting scheduled for Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Watch any of the meetings on Akaku’s Channel 53, or follow them on Twitter using the hash tag #mauicounty.
A hui hou.
* Gladys C. 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.