Big Island hearing set on school development fee
Developers of new housing in West Hawai'i will be required to donate land and/or pay fees for public schools under a new impact fee law to be initiated in West Hawai'i beginning in 2009. A public hearing to discuss the new school impact fees will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 18 at Kahakai Elementary School library.
The West Hawai'i school impact district is the first area to be considered by the state Board of Education. It will be used as a model for other regions of the state where future residential growth will result in more public school students and require new schools or expansion of existing schools.
The proposed West Hawai'i impact district covers areas served by Waimea Elementary, Waikoloa Elementary, Konawaena Elementary, and all Kealakehe complex schools. The impact fees would be charged to all new single-family and multifamily housing in the proposed district. Any land and collected fees will be dedicated to new schools and facilities for students residing in the new housing units.
The Hawai'i Department of Education is authorized by state law (Act 245, SLH 2007) to collect impact fees. The law requires the designation of impact districts across the state and sets a formula for calculating the amount of land and fees applied to each new unit.
The large number of proposed new housing units planned for West Hawai'i over the next 20 to 25 years indicates the need for additional DOE schools. Existing schools within the proposed impact district may be able to accommodate some additional students, but most of the proposed growth areas either lack existing schools nearby or their area schools are approaching capacity.
At the hearing, plans for the impact fees will be reviewed. The BOE will consider public comments when taking action on the proposed district in December 2008 or January 2009. Public comments can be submitted at the meeting or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A map and information regarding the proposed West Hawai'i impact district is available at doe.k12.hi.us. Copies are also available at the West Hawai'i Complex Area Office (75-140 Hualalai Road, adjacent to the Kailua, Kona Public Library) or by calling the DOE Facilities Development Branch at 808-377-8301 ext.227.