Public hearings set on proposed School Impact District from Kalihi to Ala Moana

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will hold two public hearings on a proposal to create a School Impact District for the neighborhoods along the Kalihi to Ala Moana portion of the Honolulu Area Rapid Transit route.

The Board of Education (BOE) requested the hearings in anticipation of residential growth in those areas and will vote on whether to approve the new district. The impact district would require residential developers or homeowner/builders to pay impact fees to help cover land and construction costs for new or expanded schools.

“We encourage teachers to testify and tell the Department of Education why developers need to help shoulder the burden for new or improved public schools in the urban Honolulu area,” said HSTA President Corey Rosenlee. “So many of our schools need new facilities and these funds would help them improve for children in town.”

Public hearings will be held:

Wednesday, Nov. 2

 
Farrington High School Library Conference Room, 3 to 5 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 3

McKinley High School’s Hirata Lecture Hall, 5 to 7 p.m.

Public comments on the proposal can also be submitted in writing to the Department of Education. You can email the comments to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The proposed boundaries are defined by the current service area boundaries for the following nine elementary schools: Fern, Kaahumanu, Kaiulani, Kalihi Kai, Kalihi Waena, Kauluwela, Likelike, Puuhale, and Royal.

The BOE is required by law to designate School Impact Districts where population growth creates the need for more school facilities over the next 25 years. By law, school impact fees are designed to cover the land and 10 percent of the cost for new school construction.

Developers of residential units in the School Impact District, including the owners of vacant, individual lots, will have to pay the impact fee requirements before they will be issued a residential building permit by the City and County of Honolulu. HIDOE estimates that the fee will be $9,374 per new unit, unless developers provide school land or facilities space.

HIDOE’s written analysis of the proposed Kalihi to Ala Moana District found that the city of Honolulu is planning to permit up to 39,000 new residential units in the areas closest to the nine Honolulu Area Rapid Transit rail stations from Middle Street to Ala Moana. If all of the 39,000 units were built, HIDOE projects a need for up to six new elementary schools and one and a half middle and high schools. Space would be needed for approximately 8,500 additional public school students.

For projects with 50 or more units, residential developers will need to sign agreements with HIDOE to provide land or facilities for new schools, or a fee-in-lieu of land, as well as a construction fee before receiving land entitlements.

The law covers all residential development, including homes built by individual lot owners. The law exempts only those residential units that by deed covenant prohibit occupancy by school-age children and any form of housing (such as timeshares) obliged to pay the transient accommodations tax.

HIDOE already collects school impact fees in Maui and Leeward Oahu.

Copies of the written analysis of the proposed Kalihi to Ala Moana district, including a map of the district are available by contacting the HIDOE Planning Office at 784-5080. Copies are also posted on the HIDOE website at: http://bit.ly/ImpactDistricts

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