PUBLIC NOTICE OF
VARIANCE APPLICATION NO. WW 254
DOCKET NO. 07 – VWW – 12
Pursuant to H.R.S. §342-D-7(i), Hawaii Revised Statutes, the State Department of Health (DOH) seeks written comments from interested persons regarding the following. Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation, Hilo, Hawaii, has applied for a five (5) year variance from Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), Section 11-62-31.1(A) which states There shall be 10,000 square feet of land area for each individual wastewater system., section 11-62-31.1(C) which states Area of the lot shall not be less than 10,000 square feet except for lots created and recorded before August 20, 1991. and section 11-62-32 which states No individual wastewater system shall be located at any point having less than the minimum distances indicated in Table II attached to this chapter in Appendix F, entitled Tables, dated April 15, 1997 and located at the end of this chapter unless otherwise approved by the Director.
Mr. Theodore Baldau, Vice President of RT Engineers of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, is the individual authorized to act for the applicant. The applicant has stated that the Kumakua Affordable Housing Project, Phase I development will be constructed on an approximate 5.68 acre portion of a parcel of land currently identified by Tax Map Key (3) 5-5-008: 046. The parcel is located on the northern side of Akoni Pule Highway in the Kapauu area of the North Kohala district located in the northern part of Hawaii Island. This proposed project will include 24 residential parcels suitable for single family self help dwelling units. Of these 24 parcels, 21 are proposed to be less than10,000 square feet in size and will vary from 7,500 square feet to 9,491 square feet in size. All dwellings are proposed to be serviced by individual wastewater systems meeting all other requirements of Chapter 11-62 except for the minimum horizontal distances from property lines as per Table II, Appendix F.
The applicant has made the following comments.
1. The proposed conditions fail to conform to the environmental rules of the State in the following manners:
21 out of the 24 proposed residential lots will be less than 10,000 squre feet in size.
Minimum horizontal distances from property lines may vary from those values indicated in Table II, Appendix F of Chapter 11-62.
2. The proposed equipment and operating conditions cannot be altered to bring the facility into compliance with the environmental rules of the state within a reasonable amount of time for the following reason:
The proposed development is intended to provide affordable housing for residents of Hawaii Island. The construction of the development is subsidized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Program. The additional cost of providing a sewage treatment plant for the proposed subdivision would increase the construction cost significantly and could exceed the funds available from USDA for the project. Likewise requiring 10,000 square foot minimum lots would decrease the number of affordable housing units. Current waiting lists for affordable self help housing in West Hawaii exceeds 250 families and meetings held in North Kohala in November 2005 regarding the project was attended by over 300 people interested in obtaining further information.
3. The granting of this variance is in the public interest as defined in the Hawaii Revised Statutes, section 342.D-6(c) in that it provides affordable housing for low income residents of Hawaii Island. The residents of this subdivision will come from income brackets that would not allow them to otherwise construct and own homes of their own. The proposed self help housing project will permit these residents to vastly improve their existing housing situation which is likely to be sub-standard due to overcrowding or allocating a disproportionate share of their income towards housing.
4. The granting of this variance will not substantially endanger human health or safety. The proposed wastewater systems will collect, treat and dispose of the domestic wastewater in such a manner that no health or safety concerns are created. No sources of potable drinking water are within 1000 feet from the proposed septic tank systems and no impacts to existing or future drinking water sources are anticipated. The proposed individual wastewater systems are located at sufficient elevation (approximately 500 feet above mean sea level) and sufficient horizontal distance (approximately 1.7 miles) to minimize their potential to contamination of shoreline waters.
5. Compliance with the rules or standards from which the variance is sought would produce serious hardship without equal or greater benefits to the public. The residents of the proposed affordable housing project are essentially economically depressed or financially disadvantaged. Couple with unprecedented increases in housing costs, many of the residents of the proposed facility would not be able to afford housing without assistance from other State or County agencies. Requiring compliance to the subject rules addressed by this variance request will not provide much greater benefits to the environment or the public than the proposed variance request to these rules would provide.
6. The time period for this wastewater variance is five (5) years. This time period is necessary to allow for the construction and occupation of the proposed affordable housing project.
Plot maps were attached to this application for variance but can not be shown here. If you would like to review the complete application, please call or write to the Wastewater Branch, 919 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 309, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814-4920, telephone (808) 586-4294 fax (808) 586-4300 to obtain a facsimile. DOH will consider all written comments received within thirty days of this notice. If warranted, DOH may hold a public hearing on the variance application, after a separate 30-day public notice. The final decision will be made on the basis of the application, related documents, written comments and the public hearing, if any.
Chiyome Leinaala Fukino, M.D.
Director of Health (SB05531023 7/25/07)