The Beat

Hawaii House Majority Leader Pushes Bill to Abolish HCDA

·By civilbeat

Hawaii House Majority Leader Scott Saiki has followed through on his promise to scrutinize the Hawaii Community Development Authority, introducing eight legislative measures that range from curbing the authority of the agency to getting rid of it altogether. 

The state organization which manages development in Kakaako and Kalaeloa has been harshly criticized in recent months for approving a slew of new projects last year in Honolulu’s urban core. 

Saiki’s proposals harshly criticize HCDA’s progress toward its mission of developing Kakaako responsibly and providing housing for low-to-moderate income Honolulu residents. 

One bill would prevent the agency from approving any new projects in Kakaako in 2014. Another would limit heights and densities of new buildings and require comprehensive analyses of infrastructure capacity, among other requirements. The introduction of that bill asserts: 

The legislature finds that in the thirty-seven years since its creation, the authority has not met the standards for creating a mixed-use, mixed-income community.  In fact, the authority has not followed the plan adopted by the community and has instead liberally interpreted the requirements and amended the plan and rules without accountability or transparency to the detriment of the community…

The legislature also finds that the authority is operating without accountability or transparency in failing to meet one of the authority’s major objectives: to create housing for low- or moderate-income residents.

Below is the list of the HCDA-related bills that Saiki introduced and their official descriptions. Click on the bill numbers to see their statuses and submit testimony. 

HB 1860 Amends HCDA public notice requirements and requirements for project approval. Creates an

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