The next testimony was introduced Feb. 1, 2023, by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii to the Home Committee on Housing.
To: Home Committee on Housing
Rep. Troy N. Hashimoto, Chair
Rep. Micah P.Okay. Aiu, Vice Chair
From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Ted Kefalas, Director of Strategic Campaigns
RE: HB670 — RELATING TO THE LAND USE COMMISSION
Pricey Chair and Committee Members:
The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii want to provide its feedback on HB670, which might streamline the method by which the state Land Use Fee acts on boundary amendments.
Underneath this invoice, the variety of affirmative votes required for a boundary modification can be diminished from six to a easy majority.
As well as, the variety of days from submitting a petition by which the fee should maintain a listening to can be diminished from 180 to 120, and the variety of days by which the fee should act to approve, deny, or modify the petition can be diminished from 365 to 180.
This invoice appropriately identifies and addresses one of many main causes for the gradual progress of housing on this state: the delays attributable to a number of layers of bureaucratic approvals.
Delays in county and state approvals — whether or not attributable to allowing backlogs or the difficulties of navigating Hawaii’s multitiered approval course of — are one of many causes Hawaii’s common approval delay is 3 times the nationwide imply.
We commend this committee for contemplating a invoice that would scale back such delays at LUC.
Over time, the LUC has developed right into a sort of state-level zoning and approval company, which has added to the delay and paperwork confronted by these trying to develop extra housing. A Grassroot Institute of Hawaii report, “Reform the Hawaii LUC to encourage extra housing,” mentioned how state policymakers may encourage the expansion of housing by reexamining the function and function of the LUC.
The Grassroot report centered closely on methods to scale back the scope of the LUC, leaving it free to give attention to statewide environmental points and district boundary amendments of conservation lands. But it surely additionally promoted the concept of creating the LUC extra environment friendly normally.
Additional reform ought to have a look at methods to proceed refocusing the LUC to raised obtain its unique function, however within the brief time period, this invoice would assist scale back the watch for housing developments that require LUC approval.
For anybody who desires to see extra houses constructed, enactment of this invoice can be an necessary and really welcome step ahead. We urge the committee to go this invoice.
Thanks for the chance to submit our feedback.
Director of Strategic Campaigns
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
 Rachel Inafuku, Justin Tyndall and Carl Bonham, “Measuring the Burden of Housing Regulation in Hawaii,” Financial Analysis Group on the College of Hawaii, April 14, 2022, p.7.