Mayor signs environmental justice, property tax credit bills into law

Kaupuni Neighborhood Park, Waianae

Several bills related to environmental justice, rezoning and real property tax credits are now law in the City and County of Honolulu.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed bills 35, 36, 37, 49, and 54 into law Thursday morning at Kaupuni Neighborhood Park in Waianae.

He was joined by bill author Honolulu City Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine, officials from the Department of Planning and Permitting, state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, state Reps. Karen Awana and Jo Jordan, a representative from Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s office, neighborhood board members, and representatives from several community organizations.

Bills 35 (stockpiling of soil), 36 (grading violations and penalties), and 37 (grading without a permit) were introduced by Councilmember Pine following the illegal dumping of materials from Hawaii Kai Marina on private property in Waianae.

“You see the community standing here with us today, people who live in this valley, who care about this place, who resent the fact that when people from other parts of this island bring their stuff, their dirty soils and other things and dump it on lands, on (agricultural) lands that should be used not as stock piling areas,” Caldwell said.

“This legislation took farmers from our conservation districts, businesses, contractors, as well as people who are large land owners, environmentalists and activists to put this together,” Pine said. “It was hard meetings at first but everyone really, because they had the heart for the people and the aina, they came together and they found a way to make these bills happen.”

Bill 36 increases the fine for a single violation to a maximum of $5,000 per day, and adds up to $10,000 per day for repeat offenders.

“You certainly are going to think twice before you dump on our community again,” Pine said.

Bill 49 will rezone land situated at Lualualei Valley, and Bill 54 is a real property tax credit for low-income residents.

bill signing 2

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