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Stene: Council failing community on impact fees

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By Aaron Stene

I’m very disappointed the Hawaii County Council failed to pass an impact fee ordinance yet again. The current fair share contributions system is ineffective, not codified and unconstitutional.

Ineffective: 108.5 million was pledged by developers to mitigate impacts, but the county only collected 8.1 million thus far.

Unconstitutional: Judge Ronald Ibarra declared the county’s fair share system is unconstitutional in the 2007 Coupe condemnation ruling

The fair share contributions system isn’t codified into law.

The absence of a impact fee ordinance forces the county to float more bonds to pay for infrastructure improvements. This is not the ideal way to pay for these projects.

It erodes the county’s financial flexibility and saddles the taxpayers with more debt.

Therefore, the county will be left holding the bag while developers continue to get a free ride.

(Aaron Stene is a Kailua-Kona resident and publisher of The Kona Blog, which focuses on major roadway infrastructure projects in West Hawaii. He also covers local telcom/technology, politics, and development issues. His blog can be found at:

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