The Hawaii County Council held a series of committee meetings in Hilo on Tuesday.
The big news of the day: the Committee on Environmental Management finally gave a positive recommendation to a plastic bag reduction bill.
Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann has been trying to push the reduction bill through the council for a while now. Before he was sidelined with a minor heart attack, Hoffmann vowed to bring the matter before the council once again this year.
The bill prohibits businesses from providing checkout bags to their customers with a penalty of $100 for the first violation and up to $500 for a third violation within a year. If approved, it would take effect in one year.
Hoffmann, again staying true to his word, also brought forward the topic of impact fees.
The current version of Bill 304 will add a new chapter to the Hawaii County Code:
This new chapter would impose impact fees on new developments and construction to provide infrastructure for roads, parks, fire, EMS, police, solidwaste and wastewater. The following fees would be established calculated by land use type and would be paid at the time of issuance of a building permit or for subdivisions upon final subdivision approval: Single Family (per dwelling) $6,387; Duplex or Multi Family (per dwelling) $4,734; Hotel Motel (per room) $4,210.
The following land uses, fees are calculated per 1000 square feet of gross floor area: Retail/Commercial, $4,968; Office, $3,607; Industrial, $2,275; Warehouse, $1,350; Church/Synagogue, $2,074; School/College, $1,080; Hospital $5,451; Nursing Home, $1,903; Other Institutional, $3,607.
The proposal sets forth five exemptions from payment of impact fees, including provisions for single family units which have already paid fees; alterations of existing single family units; replacement of a destroyed residential structure provided that the new structure has the same use and does not exceed the original amount of dwelling units; replacement of a destroyed nonresidential building provided the new structure does not exceed the original gross floorspace; and any development for which a completed application for a building permit was submitted prior to the effective date of the proposed new chapter, provided that the provisions of the permit donot change and the permit does not expire. Provisions for contribution to the impact fee fund from affordable housing developments are set forth.
The proposed chapter establishes a formula for calculation of the fees and rules for refunds, credits, offsets, and recalculations, post ordinance credits and off sets and recalculation due to over and underpayments. Finally, the proposal would establish an Impact Fee Fund to be administered by the Director of Finance and rules for the use of the collected fees.
Councilmember Donald Ikeda had some very specific questions for Hoffmann about the measure.
Ultimately, a vote on the bill was postponed. Hoffmann has a series of talk stories planned on the subject in the coming weeks, starting on Thursday evening in Waimea.