Like Dain Kane, it looks like we still have the “Show Me The Water” law to kick around. Yes, the common-sense law that dates to 2007 and requires developers to prove they have a long-term source of water before getting an approval to start building will remain on the books, despite nearly every local public official around blaming it for the county’s lack of affordable housing.
There had been talk that the Maui County Council might strike down the bill, but on Wednesday, Jan. 6, the council’s Water Resources Committee voted unanimously to leave the law alone, according to the Jan. 7 Maui News. A big part of the reason is that nearly 40 people showed up to testify that allowing development without securing water first is, well, horrible public policy.
Still, that didn’t some developers from doubling down on the law as a housing-killer. “The water availability ordinance has been an important factor in creating the scenario that we face today,” Alexander & Baldwin Properties’ Grant Chun said in his written testimony on the law, according to The Maui News. “The ordinance has amounted to a de facto moratorium on the construction of new homes.”
The Maui News of course let Chun get away with this nonsense, but seriously–does he really believe it? Yes, affordable home construction is abysmal right now, but that’s not what Chun said. He said the law is a “de facto moratorium” on “new home” construction. Not merely “affordable” homes, but homes on the open market as well. So those super-luxurious million-dollar condos going up near the Wailea Gateway Center are just an illusion, then? Oh, if only Chun was correct…