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MAYOR HANNEMANN SIGNS SIX BILLS INTO LAW;

RETURNS A BILL TO COUNCIL UNSIGNED

           

            Mayor Mufi Hannemann has signed six bills into law. The bill, all of which take effect immediately, are:

· Bill 22, CD1, relating to the designation of real property tax classifications. The bill consolidates three long-standing property classifications – improved residential, unimproved residential and apartment – into a single “residential” class. This ordinance will apply next fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2008. It leaves the City with eight property tax classifications instead of 10.

· Bill 23, CD1, relating to shelter buses. The bill amends the existing ordinance on buses that are used for shelters.

· Bill 24, CD1, relating to grant reporting requirements. The bill simplifies reporting requirements for recipients of City grants of $10,000 or less to eliminate excessive paperwork while ensuring fiscal accountability.

· Bill 25, CD1, relating to the City ferry system. The bill amends the Public Transit Ordinance to allow for the demonstration commuter ferry system between Barbers Point and Downtown Honolulu that the City plans to establish this summer. The bill sets ferry fares identical to bus fares.

· Bill 27, relating to vacation cabins. The bill amends the Land Use Ordinance to require a conditional use permit-major for vacation cabins in land zoned P-2 general preservation. Previously, a conditional use permit-minor was required.

·   Bill 28, relating to indoor amusement and recreation facilities. The bill amends the Land Use Ordinance to require a conditional use permit-major for an indoor amusement or recreation facility (such as electronic game rooms, health and fitness establishments, racquetball courts and  gyms) on land zone P-2 general preservation. Such facilities are allowed on preservation land only as an accessory use to a golf course or outdoor recreation facility. The bill requires that a proposed golf course on P-2 land must also obtain a conditional use permit-major.

            Mayor Hannemann returned Bill 55 (2006) to the Council without his signature, which means it becomes law anyway.  The bill rezones 2.024 acres of land in Haiku  from P-2 General Preservation to R-7.5 Residential, with a 25-foot building height limit. The landowner Kamehameha Schools requested the zone change to permit development of a day-care center there.

            “While my administration supports the zone change itself, the City Council has supported an accompanying Declaration of Restrictive Covenants that sets a bad precedent,” Hannemann said in a message to the Council returning the unsigned bill.

            The declaration was developed to address community concerns but sets detailed restrictions that go beyond zoning regulations and designates the City Department of Planning and Permitting to enforce the restrictions.

            “This places DPP in the untenable role of enforcing what is a private, civil matter between Kamehameha Schools and Haiku residents. We do not intend to enforce these conditions, so at best, it gives the community a false sense of understanding about how these conditions will be enforced,” Hannemann wrote. “At worst, it would force the City to enforce restrictions that it is not a party to, expanding the City’s workload. The language also suggests that the City will use its zoning powers to retaliate for lack of compliance with conditions for which it has no interest; this is quite unsettling. We should not be participating in, and encouraging separate agreements outside of the official zone change action. In this instance, the Declaration of Restrictive Covenants could be viewed as ‘spot zoning.’

            “Nevertheless, we believe the zone change itself is appropriate and supportable and therefore, will allow Bill 55 (2006) to become law without my signature,” the mayor wrote.

 

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Media contact:

Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

Thursday, May 17, 2007

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