The Maui County Council’s Water Resources Committee is scheduled to take up the old “Show me the water” law during their Dec. 2, 2015 meeting. According to a Nov. 27, 2015 press release from the Maui County Council’s media office, the reason is to discuss a new bill–introduced by Councilmember Mike Victorino–that would repeal the old law.
“The policy is often mentioned in discussions as one of the main reasons why affordable housing has not been built,” Councilmember Gladys Baisa said in the press release. “This review will provide a chance to evaluate what the policy’s true impact has been. I strongly encourage concerned members of the community to testify, especially those affected by the policy.”
The “Show me the water” law passed in 2007 in an attempt to bring residential development under control by forcing developers to prove they had a long-term water source before the county would authorize any new home construction. The result, according to Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, has been a “severe shortage” of affordable housing in the county.
“The ‘Show me the water’ bill, the affordable housing bill, killed it,” he said at an Oct. 20, 2015 Maui Redevelopment Agency meeting at the Good Shepherd Church in Wailuku. “We have a 3,000-unit deficit. We have to change some of the laws–it takes two years to get something built.”
Victorino had previously pushed for its repeal back in 2011, but the Council only eased up on the law a bit.
The Water Resources Committee will meet at 9am on Wednesday, Dec. 2 in the Council Chambers of the Kalana O Maui* building in Wailuku.
*Due to the writer not paying attention, he originally spelled this building name wrong.