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House sends to the governor bill setting up HCDA restrictions

    A worker guided a large concrete beam into place at the 801 South St. construction site in Kakaako in February.

The state House on Monday approved a bill that would place new restrictions on the Hawaii Community Development Authority and increase public notice requirements for development projects in burgeoning Kakaako.

The bill, which was previously approved by the state Senate, now goes to Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

The bill was in response to public concerns about rapid development in Kakaako. The legislation, however, was more measured than some initial proposals that would have aggressively restricted or even abolished the HCDA, which oversees redevelopment in the region.

The 31-18 House vote shows that a significant number of lawmakers were concerned about the final draft.

"HB 1866 will allow us to ‘reboot’ HCDA and allow it to refocus on its mission, provide greater transparency in its operation and decision making, and allow the public to have greater input in its deliberations," House Majority Leader Scott Saiki (D, Downtown, Kakaako, McCully) said in a statement.

"At the end of the day, it will help HCDA create a community that is more livable, more productive and that better reflects our island values, lifestyle and sensibilities."

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