Wednesday, February 05, 2014


Hawaii’s Thousand Friends urges repeal of HCDA—testimony needed

by Larry Geller

Below is the latest “Good Bills” message emailed by Donna Wong. It contains good information on the HCDA—in particular, how to submit testimony on HB1864, the bill that would repeal the HCDA entirely (reproduced with permission).




Donna Wong
Executive Director
Phone/fax: 808-262-0682


Good Bills 2014


Testimony needed on Saturday 2/8 in STRONG SUPPORT of HB 1864 to


Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA), the original PLDC


Hearing notice

Submit testimony online:

Submitting testimony on line has changed.  You are now required to Sign In to submit your first testimony.

HB 1864 RELATING TO THE HCDA ((Saiki, Belatti, Brower, McKelvey, Nishimoto, Rhoads)

HB 1864 repeals HCDA on July 1, 2015 by

Deleting the HCDA special fund

Transferring the duties and functions for the HCDA to the counties

Creating a transition-working group to "plan for the seamless transition of duties and functions from the HCDA to the City and County of Honolulu"


In 1976 the legislature passed legislation that created Act 153-HCDA

HCDA was created to address lack of low-income housing, parks and open spaces and urban areas in the State that are substantially underdeveloped or blighted and in need of urban renewal or renovation.

To address these issues the legislature has the authority to designate community development districts statewide such as Kakaako, Kalaeloa and Heeia on Oahu.

HCDA has sole authority over 3 areas designated by the legislature as community development districts - Kakaako, Kalaeloa (former Barbers Point), Heeia and holds title to the fast and submerged lands of Kewalo basin harbor with the mandate to redevelop the area including the harbor

The word urban has been dropped from the statute so underdeveloped, blighted, renewal, renovation or improvement now refers to all zoning - ag, rural, country, conservation, preservation.

Development projects located within a community development district that need a Special Management Area permit (SMA) and shoreline setback variance submit the application to the State Office of Planning (OP) for review and approval, not to the counties.

SMA applications and shoreline setback variances are not reviewed by county planning commissions or the Oahu City Council, who under HRS 205A Coastal Zone Management Act are designated to administer the SMA and shoreline setback process.

For Kauai, Maui County and Hawaii Island the Office of Planning review processes does not allow for contested cases as is currently allowed under the county process.

The Office of Planning does not have rules for a contested case process. For SMA and shoreline setback contested case appeals OP relies on Chapter 91-Administrative Procedure

Some of the reasons why HCDA must be repealed:

HCDA is anti-home rule, the right of each county to govern itself, because once an area is declared a community development district, county planning and zoning no longer apply.

Governed by HCDA, each community development district has its own zoning, planning and development rules and powers.

HCDA is exempt from county planning, zoning, and permit processes

HCDA has a shorter process for approving development than the county processes

HCDA is not accountable to anyone, even those who live in or around the Kakaako and Kalaeloa (former Barbers Point) community development districts, which are governed by HCDA

HCDA's 9-member appointed board only goes through the motions of holding public hearings but in reality does not listen to the people

HCDA-approved projects are filled with exemptions and variances that undermine existing plans and infrastructure capacity

HCDA does not follow its own plans and rules and acts as if it is above the law

HCDA does not ensure that there are adequate schools, parks, open spaces, sewers, roads etc. before approving projects

Like PLDC (Public Land Development Corporation), passed in 2011 and repealed in 2012, HCDA

Is exempt from all statutes, ordinances, charter provisions, and rules of any government agency relating to special improvement district assessments or requirements, land use, zoning, and construction standards, development and improvement of land and the construction and sale of homes

Allows affordable housing requirements and construction of reserved housing for any proposed project to be located on land located outside the geographic boundaries of the community development district

Promotes development or redevelopment on submerged or fast lands of a small boat harbor. Kewalo basin fast and submerged lands are under HCDA's jurisdiction and slated for development.

Enters into public-private agreements to develop identified public lands

Can sell, transfer, lease, and dispose of property

Can acquire property by condemnation, including property already devoted to a public use

Can independently or in partnership with qualified persons construct, reconstruct, rehabilitate, any project

Can enter into an agreement with qualified persons to dispose of a residential project

Requires other public agencies, with approval of the governor, to convey or lease public lands to the authority (HRS 206E-8)


Hawaii's Thousand Friends | 25 Maluniu Avenue, Suite 102 #282 | Kailua | HI | 96734


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