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Mayor Caldwell takes action on bills

Mayor Kirk Caldwell took action on the following bills today by signing them into law. These bills were passed by the Honolulu City Council on December 9, 2020.

Bill 2 (2019) CD2, FD1 - Relating to Interim Planned Development Permits for transit-oriented development within close proximity to future rail stations. The purpose of this ordinance is to amend the provisions of the Land Use Ordinance pertaining to the Interim Planned Development-Transit Permit in the future Transit-Oriented Development Special District areas. The amendments will adjust the standards for community benefits, such as affordable housing and open space, and include slight changes for other elements of the permit, including permitted uses, eligible zoning lots, landscaping in public open spaces, and flexibility for signage. These changes are expected to streamline and strengthen the existing permit procedures and development standards.

"Our city is in an affordable housing crisis," Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. "This bill helps to provide more housing to those who need it most, and will ensure that the people living here will have more ways to get to work."

"This bill will give clear guidelines to those wanting to build in transit-oriented development areas, which will especially allow affordable housing to be built much faster, delivering on the promises made to the people," said Honolulu City Councilmember Kym Pine.

Bill 10 - Relating to Department of Parks and Recreation permits. The purpose of this ordinance is to amend the ordinances relating to permits issued by the Department of Parks and Recreation. In particular, this ordinance mandates gender equity for sports activities requiring a park use permit.

"I believe that our Department of Parks and Recreation does not discriminate when issuing permits based on gender, age, race, creed, or socioeconomic status, but now there is a process if someone feels this has occurred. This Bill grew primarily out of concerns from female surfers that surf event organizers were not providing opportunities for them to compete in nationally recognized competitions here in Hawai‘i at the same level male surfers enjoy. I hope that this inspires those organizers to realize that our wahine surfers deserve the same opportunities as our kane."

"The signing of Bill 10 is a momentous occasion for women's sports equality. As a former top athlete in sports including cross country, track, triathlons, baseball and the Molokai Hoe," Councilmember Kym Pine said, "the gender equity issue brought forward by our top women surfers sparked my passion to advocate for all female sports."

Bill 57 CD2, FD1 - Relating to detached dwellings. The purpose of this ordinance is to further address the regulations on large residential structures in residential districts.

"These regulations are needed to protect our neighborhoods, and the long-time residents from building large detached dwellings that are out of character with the residential nature of the surrounding homes," Mayor Kirk Caldwell Said. "We know the need for affordable housing is great. We must use every tool at our disposal to make sure we keep affordable housing available on O'ahu. This bill protects our neighborhoods from development that should not be taking place, and would fundamentally change the character of our communities."

"We need to protect our residents who time after time, have raised concerns regarding massive multi-unit homes in their neighborhoods, and we are utilizing every option available to combat this issue," said Councilmember Alan Kekoa Texeira. "Bill 57 is a primary example of our efforts to continue to refine our laws to prevent possible loophole exploitation by unscrupulous contractors."

Bill 59 CD2, FD1 - Relating to parks. The purpose of this ordinance is to facilitate the administration of the Community Recreational Gardening program.

"I was encouraged last week when we announced that seven urban gardens with 160 garden beds and 20 fruit trees were seeded in City-owned, special needs housing locations around the island. This will provide nearly 1,100 residents at these sites with an opportunity to not only become more resilient, but to also help sustain their bodies and souls by growing their own food. While it is important for us to always look for new park community garden locations, there is also opportunity to explore this community garden model in other diverse property locations to help create a more locally empowered future for our island."

"This pandemic showed me that the city needs to be more involved in finding additional spaces for people to grow their own food, so that we can ensure that our people are fed," said Councilmember Pine. "This is but one of many actions I hope the city will continue to take, to increase our residents' food security."

Bill 64, CD1, FD1 - To adopt an amendment to the 'Ewa Development Plan (2013) for the City and County of Honolulu. The purpose of this ordinance is to amend portions of the existing Development Plan (‘VP") for Ewa, Article 3, Chapter 24, Appendix 24-3, Revised Ordinances of Honolulu 1990.

"In an ever-changing world, it's important to have a plan for how we are going to address the challenges of the future," Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. "The Ewa Development plan is sound, and will provide consistency with the General Plan and the neighboring East Kapolei Neighborhood Transit-Oriented Deveopment plan."

Bill 75 - Relating to fire safety. The purpose of this ordinance is to extend by one year various deadlines in the Fire Code of the City and County of Honolulu that were established by Ordinance 18-14 and Ordinance 19-4 in light of unexpected business interruptions and job losses associated with Hawaii's COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020.

"After the Marco Polo Fire of 2017, I knew I never wanted to see a tragedy of this magnitude ever strike the City and County of Honolulu again," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. "Making our buildings more resistant to fire is not easy, and COVID-19 has made it even more difficult. While it's important to bring our buildings up to code as quickly as possible, we understand that the pandemic has complicated these efforts."

"We greatly appreciate the Mayor's flexibility in helping condo owners meet their fire safety obligations," said Councilmember Carol Fukunaga.

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