Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Musings: Upping the Density

Though opportunities abound for folks seeking vacation rentals — a friend in Poipu recently mentioned dozens of empty TVRs in his neighborhood — Kauai's longterm rental market is quite a bit tighter, even desperate.

So what to do? In the old days, county and state governments would develop affordable housing, or exact housing requirements from new developments. But neither scenario is happening on Kauai, leaving some families doubled up and others homeless for lack of rentals.

Councilman Arryl Kaneshiro is today floating a different approach: Proposed Draft Bill 2634.

It proposes eliminating the current requirement of a use permit to construct multiple family dwelling units in the residential (R-1 to R-6) district. Kaneshiro maintains the requirement “serves as a deterrent to the construction of multiple family units.”

No doubt. But the use permit requirement also ensures that community concerns are addressed, and that the impacts of a proposed development are identified, and hopefully mitigated.

People who already own homes in the R-1 to R-6 district may resist this proposal, since they purchased property under the assurance that the surrounding neighborhood would support a certain level of density. Will their property values be diminished by a bill that supports greater density?

Infrastructure capacity, especially sewage treatment, is another concern.

It's unclear how many vacant parcels are available for new multifamily construction in the R-1 to R-6 district, or if these rental units would be built on lots with existing homes.

In any case, the Council will be hashing it out today, and if they decide to move it forward, a public hearing will be set.

Also on the agenda is a request from the county attorney's office. It needs another $75,000 to keep paying special counsel to fight the discrimination lawsuit that victim-witness counselor Diana Gausepohl-White filed against the county and former Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri and her deputy, Jake Delaplane.

I've lost track of how much money Shay has cost the county in legal fees. It's time for a re-tally.

Because some problems, like the rental housing shortage, just never seem to go away....


Unknown said...

Good morning, Joan

Bill 2634 coming before the Council today bears watching. Hopefully it will be taken off the table early in the process. As you say, there are better ways to satisfy the need for affordable housing.

Best to all


John Kauai said...

I'm not sure I understand table 8-2.4.

This paragraph is removed:
8-2.4(a)(3) Two (2) multiple family dwelling units or two (2) single family attached dwelling units upon a parcel of record as of June 30, 1980

The current 8-2.4(a)(4) moves up one. But note that the bold italics remains making it self-referential. (I'm guessing that part will be removed?)

Notwithstanding subsection (3) above, multiple family and single family attached dwellings developed pursuant to a Federal, State or County housing program

And a "P" is added in 8-2.4(b) under R1-R6 and this portion of the description is removed:
"are permitted in districts R-10 and R-20 in addition to those types of residential uses and structures permitted under Subsection (a) above"

Then one has to review these definitions:

“Dwelling, Multiple Family” means a building or portion thereof consisting of two (2) or more dwelling units and designed for occupancy by two (2) or more families living independently of each other, where any one (1) of the constructed units is structurally dependent on any other unit.
“Dwelling, Single Family Attached” means a building consisting of two (2) or more dwelling units designed for occupancy by two (2) or more families living independently of each other where each unit is structurally independent although superficially attached or close enough to appear attached.
“Dwelling, Single Family Detached” means a building consisting of only one (1) dwelling unit designed for or occupied exclusively by one (1) family.


8-4.2(b) The number portion of each Residential Density District establishes the maximum number of dwelling units that may be permitted per acre of land in each district

The proposed change is inconsistent. Basically it would eviscerate the concept of a given number of dwelling units per acre.
Another way of looking at it, since there is only 1 dwelling unit per R1 acre, how does one put in a multiple family structure?

Anonymous said...

I have 5 rental properties on Kauai. Some are in the TVR district yet I only rent long term due to the fact that it is very difficult to find long term rentals; especially on the north shore.

I could make way more money renting the TVRs out for short term, but prefer the long term renters since they treat the property like their own (unlike short term); they stay for years (unlike short term) and are the most appreciative renters (unlike short term)I have ever found.

.....yes I am rich; so Joan don't hate me for it. The passive income is my retirement money and the properties represent a lifetime of work.

Anonymous said...

You're the exception to the rule and it's great to see that we have people like you living on Kauai and creating long term rentals in TVR areas.

It's the people who violate the laws and also want to change the law to help them pimp Kauai to squeeze every dollar they can get.

Unknown said...

Truthfully, I don't understand it either.

Aloha, Sam

Unknown said...


You're not alone in your questions. The chart is confusing enough; then you have the language; even more vague. As you say, this a way around zoning code R density requirements which are in place for good reasons.. Exceptions set precedents, exceptions are often poor policy.

Aloha, Sam

Anonymous said...

The housing process has been stifled by JoAnne's stand on anti development. There is a process and the formula falls into place with the cycle.
When a new subdivision is built and affordable housing is included in the project, you create movement. The State, Federal and County funded affordable housing as part of a legitimate subdivision has always targeted " first time home buyers ". These first time home buyers are usually renters. If they move into their own homes, obviously rentals become available. Those that would purchase property as an upgrade would likely put their existing home for sale. Thus sales inventory becomes available. But, reiterating the cycle has been neglected by both County and State. Adding more rentals on already tapped out subdivisions will propose a slum type of a situation in the future. This temporary fix will have long term Hanamaulu consequences. Do it right the first time. I know we have the talent on the Council to accomplish such a task. But please, do not confuse affordable housing with low income housing.

Anonymous said...

Having explored TVR vs. long term rental in the mid-1980s, I was advised that ultimately the bottom line is similar for both since the higher-rent TVR's experience more vacancy, more servicing like cleaning and upkeep, yard care, plus more replacement of broken appliances, furniture, worn-out linens & towels, and walkaway kitchen items, silverware, etc. Not to forget the 9.25% T.A. taxes off the top, a fee for an on-island 24/7 property manager and way higher property taxes plus commercial insurance premiums. I've owned and operated a TVR since 2001 (fully licensed) and have experienced all sorts of guests. I hate having strangers in my home but the one thing that transient rental does to make it all worth it is that I can use the property myself when I so desire. Long term rental does not allow that. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

She's for the wealthy because the formula has proven when supply low and demand is high then rent and home prices are astronomical and who benefits?

Yes her friends, family, campaign donors, and the wealthy.

This is how they oppress the people of Kauai. Yukimura is apart of the missionary rule. She's a house slave who whips the field slave for her massa's.

As long as this current council is in place, Kauai will never free themselves from plantation mentality. They laugh at the working class and keep them in line by sabotaging the housing issues and oppressing the people of Kauai.

Then they want to raise taxes on the working class so your 2-3 jobs aren't enough for them to spend and they want more. It's modern day slavery.

Now look at all the hotels that's going to be built in Kapaa with no infrastructure to support it.

They have created a kolo ko dam breach catrophic event in the waiting. Only until people die then they will tell the federal government that they need infrastructure grants. All the while they waste hundreds of million of dollars for luxury bike paths, revitalizing streets (by creating problems that they will have to fix later i.e. Job security) and keep on hiring unqualified family members.

This is what Kauai deserves when they vote for these fucktards. It's not what you know but who you know good ol boy and gal fucks of the garden island.

Anonymous said...

Some TVRs make more money than a a long-term rental, some don't.
But with rents for half-way decent housing at 2200 to 3000, some properties do fine as long term rentals.
With the last Tax Increase ala Bynum/Hooser and Yukimura, taxes went up about 2000 to 3000 per year on non-owner occupied houses. This gets passed on to tenants.
Arryl's bill will be dumped because no one can understand it. Aryll's bill along with the totally BS Hooser/Chock Lihue/Hanamaulu/Puhi bills are total nonsense.
As the County goes into these Hanamaulu homes that have been occupied for 50 years and have boot-leg rentals, the owner will be hi-jacked when they see the list of issues to be addressed in order to come into compliance. Sheesh! Even Kapaa has every garage in Waialeale Estates is a rental. M'God they are everywhere.
If the County "overlooks" some compliance issues or the inspector uses his "judgement' and overlooks issues for a rental to comply in the Hooser bill, this could be seen as preferential enforcement.
Compliance means that a property has all permits in place for any construction valued at over $1000 or anything that is in place for over 30 days. Every fence, lanai, chicken coop, Wallmart tarp carport are illegal.
So as the TVR owners who have been skewered and get ready to go to court......the County will be back-dooring non-compliant properties.
Preferential treatment under the law. Eh what Haole, that's the way it is. But the County will be faced with a Yuge lawsuit. Preferential enforcement, civil-rights, loss of enjoyment ad nauseum. The TVR folks will win big.
Both bills should be canceled. Repeal JoAnn's sidewalk/bike path and low income housing extortion from existing laws. Fire Mike Dahilig and get some one who is half-way normal, go to big land and ask for co-operation in developing simple homes. Get the Water Department to release the water and not stick to their JoAnn inspired "oh we don;t have water - the transmission lines are old and in our OPINION there is no water for you". Back door anti-development.

The housing crisis was caused by the Council and the Council can fix it in 2 shakes. Increase density on every lot and ALLOW them to sub-divide and CPR.
It is nice having my 4 tutus living with me, but now that my daughter is having her 5th kid, my 3 bedroom house is crowded. Pamper City.

Anonymous said...

"As long as this current council is in place, Kauai will never free themselves from plantation mentality. They laugh at the working class and keep them in line by sabotaging the housing issues and oppressing the people of Kauai.

Then they want to raise taxes on the working class so your 2-3 jobs aren't enough for them to spend and they want more. It's modern day slavery."

The excise tax would increase by one half of one percent. In other words, on a $10 purchase, the additional tax would be 5 cents, on a $100 purchase, it would be 50 cents and so on. The money would have gone to roads and buses. It was a good idea, which is why the two smartest people on the council were the only ones to vote for it. This island is messed up because of idiots like you preaching to the idiots on the council.

Anonymous said...

Cheers 1153a, too bad more aren't like you (and me)!

It's a pretty easy equation from my college years (yeah, I went), Econ 101, supply and demand and pricing. Supply stays the same while demand goes up, so price goes...anyone...anyone...this isn't Voo Doo economics Mr. Bueller...price goes up. Duh.

Lets stop pretending there's not more demand for Kauai, 'cause there is. People discover Kauai (like most here lets also admit). When they do and they want a piece they pursue Kauai. If Kauai supply stays the same price can only go UP. It's also a 2 sided equation..willing buyers...and willing sellers at a certain price. If you don't allow more supply, you only gas the fire.

Go ahead, take your shots at it but that's how it's gone for centuries, and that's how it's gonna go.

Anonymous said...

The Kauai Real Estate Board doesn't know how to recommend the Long Term Affordable housing tax incentive to rental owners because the County did NOT provide the information to owners - they felt the information published locally would inform all owners but did not provide them information directly. Subsequently, few owners applied for the long term affordable tax credit.

The proposed bill is rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Arryl's daddy said this during the TVR debacle and beer gate; " where my kids going live?" and now his son wants to create a bill to attack locals. Where the locals going live? If Arryl is in office? What a guy these Kaneshiro's are.

Joan Conrow said...

Attack locals? This bill is intended to help them.

Anonymous said...

Joan, it depends what locals we are talking about, some of us like Sam Lee want to protect the rural character of our island which is quite important as well, our population is not like Honolulu's so "be careful" with these ready, fire, aim proposals.

Anonymous said...

Just like beer gate where my kids going to live McMansions pushed by daddy (conflict of interest like Ron Kouchi buying his business partners land and kawakami voting to approve a bill his daddy was monopolizing to get and those who know the conflict of interst Melvin was in that's been censored on here) and sealed with a drunken beer fest with Dickie Chang?

Joan Conrow said...

@11:11. I am not endorsing the bill, and I understand your valid concerns. It just seemed to me from the preamble to the bill that he intended it to benefit locals.

Anonymous said...

trying to solve a problem by creating another. crazy. like someone said; there are better ways to address the housing crisis. habitat can do something with few resources and the county cannot?

Anonymous said...

People who vigorously oppose councilman kaneshiro upping density must all have nice comfortable homes they live in with their own bedrooms and personal space... When you got families living like sardines in a's a whole different perspective.
If people in R1-R6 oppose the proposed bill then give the opportunity to AG ..they got th space...
Give the man some credit for thinking of the needs of the community and offer some thoughts on solutions to housing needs.
And... If any housing density is approved on any zoned land, I hope those ihomes in the VDA is not included!

Anonymous said...

if increasing neighborhood density to ease the housing crunch is the councils' best shot, get rid of the Housing office and turn the f----n program over to Habitat.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who supports Kaneshiro's idea to allow neighborhoods to be overrun to provide housing for the needy is as clueless as he is. Solving a problem by creating a larger one is not creative thinking. You got people saying Kaneshiro thinks about community and offers solutions to housing needs. If he gets what he wants, we better see multifamily structures coming up in Princeville, Hanalei-Haena, Jeff Stone's development, Kukuiula, Puakea, Pikake, Kiahuna , and Kealia Kai for openers. Make sure this applies to all neighborhoods, not jus where locals live. keiki o ka aina, No tink so.

Anonymous said...

why does this County not have a impact fee ordinance? Make the developers kick in for the larger public good. To the smart guys on the Council, this is not rocket science, wake up.

Anonymous said...

Bill 2601 adu on AG lands is a positive start in providing much needed homes weather for rental or family. AG people always struggle to make farms work and a rental will help.
But the bill 2601 restriction to permit holders to 2006 and before is TOO limited. They been holding it for at least 10 years without using it for whatever reason... But if the adu was open to any AG parcel it would make it immediately beneficial to many who did not have a permit from 2006 and who is in the position to build. Those 200 or so who is eligible may never use it...
I hope the council opens up the opportunity for other AG parcels to use it immediately since the need for housing is NOW....