HCDA in need of city representationUPDATED 10:32 PM HST Mar 24, 2014Video Transcript
Critics say the Hawaii Community Development Authority is more about "development" and less about "community." A bill making its way through the legislature hopes to even the playing field, but now it's city officials who are crying foul. KITV4s Andrew Pereira has the story ... It's all new at six... Andrew? Yunji, the House bill is supposed to re-work the composition of HCDA board, but as of right now, the City and County of Honolulu has zero representation. 15 40 114 136 Created nearly 40 years ago, the Hawaii Community Development Authority is responsible for guiding the growth of 600 acres in Kakaako. Some say HCDA has been great for Kakaako developers... not so much for those who live here. SHARON MORIWAKI: "WE FELT THAT WE WEREN'T BEING HEARD BY HCDA AND THE PROBLEM WITH HCDA IS THAT IT'S A STATE AGENCY THAT IS ACTUALLY ON CITY JURISDICTION." The HCDA board is supposed to have nine members, with four of them coming from the Governor's cabinet. The board also features one at- large member, three community members and a cultural specialist. However, no one on the board directly represents Honolulu taxpayers. IKAIKA ANDERSON: "IT'S A DISSERVICE TO THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU AND IT'S TIME THAT WE GET BETTER TREATMENT FROM OUR STATE LEGISLATURE." State lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would reshape membership on the HCDA board while providing Kakaako residents a process to appeal decisions. However the latest version of HB 1866 stripped away any representation from the City and County of Honolulu. Councilman Anderson wants the city's director of Planning and Permitting to be a voting member of the HCDA board, while the mayor would accept a non- voting position. KIRK CALDWELL: "THEY STILL NEED SEWER HOOK-UP PERMITS, THEY STILL NEED DEMOLITION PERMITS, GRADING PERMITS, BUILDING PERMITS, OCCUPANCY PERMITS AND DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO HAVE THE DIRECTOR WHO ISSUES ALL THEIR PERMITS TO BE AROUND THE TABLE HEARING WHAT'S BEING DISCUSSED?" House Majority Leader Scott Saiki introduced seven bills seeking HCDA reforms, and says the city may still get its wish with the one bill that remains. SCOTT SAIKI: "THE HOUSE IS STILL CONSIDERING PLACING THE DPP DIRECTOR ON THE BOARD AS A NON- VOTING MEMBER. WE'RE ALSO LOOKING AT WAYS TO BE MORE INCLUSIVE TO INCLUDE COMMUNITY MEMBERS." SHARON MORIWAKI: "I THINK IT NEEDS SOME PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE SITTING ON THE BOARD BECAUSE IT REALLY IS A CITY MATTER." Saiki tells KITV4 a compromise with the Senate is possible in about two weeks. If not, the HCDA bill would go to conference committee to iron out any differences between the two chambers. Yunji?