Sep 25, 2017

Pending legislation: TOD and Affordable Housing Requirement Bills

Following is a summary of the bills:

The TOD bills are back on the Zoning and Housing agenda, scheduled to meet on 9/28/17 at 9am. Pine and Elefante have each introduced their own versions of Bill 74, CD2 (Revisions are also proposed to Bill 75, CD2 and Bill 76, CD2 -- the other TOD bills, pending since 2015). This would be the third and final reading for the TOD bills; the Council could vote to adopt this language, which would take effect immediately.

The proposed revisions are similar, except that Pine's includes language about economic enhancement and a stipulation of contractor's wages. The economic enhancement requirements appear to be visioning requirements that are more appropriate in the Neighborhood TOD plan. As currently stated, the requirements are vague, have great potential to generate controversy during the entitlement process, and therefore should not be included in the final version of the ordinance. Pine's CD2 version states:

Development must include a "positive contribution to the economic enhancement of the affected area, particularly with regard to providing diverse employment opportunities, including but not limited to whether the project is subject to a project labor agreement providing that construction workforce employed on all phases of the project will be paid no less than the prevailing minimum wages established for public work projects pursuant to HRS Chapter 104."

Other language inserted into Pine's CD2 requires fair wages for contractors. While this is important, it is not appropriate to feature this within a TOD ordinance, which is primarily concerned with establishing zoning district standards (i.e., setbacks, height, allowable uses). A summary of the original urban design requirements of Bill 74 -- which have remained largely unchanged -- is included here.

Elefante's version doesn't include that but primarily updates the bill to reference the City's affordable housing ordinance and clarifies that to be considered a community benefit, affordable housing must be in addition to what is required by the City's affordable housing ordinance. That wording was already in Bill 74; he's just clarifying language throughout -- so not much change. 

Both councilmember's versions also clarify that an IP-D (council approval) is required for buildings seeking 20 feet or more of bonus height. 

To better understand how the City's Affordable Housing Requirements compare to HCDA, the AIA Housing Committee prepared a comparison matrix.

Separate bills that would establish the City's Affordable Housing Requirement (AHR) and Affordable Housing Incentives, respectively Bill 58 & 59 (2017) have passed 2nd reading and may become law soon. To understand the scope of projects the AHR would apply to, building permits were used to count the number of units created in new multifamily buildings created between 2005-2016. The proposed language in the Bill states: "New construction of or substantial rehabilitation of ten or more dwelling units developed under a single or unified project concept, on one or more zoning lots." Past building permits show that nearly all new multifamily development -- even those permits for fewer than 10 units -- are part of a larger project concept. Therefore nearly ALL new multifamily development would be required to provide 10% of its units as affordable for-sale or 5% as affordable rental units (on-site, within non-TOD station areas); the requirement would be higher within the TOD-station area.