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Bill to Allow Child Care Homes in Ag District Advances

Governor Neil Abercrombie signs House Bill 2560 while on Maui. Courtesy photo. [1]

Governor Neil Abercrombie signs House Bill 2560 while on Maui. Courtesy photo.

By Wendy Osher

The Maui County Council adopted a resolution that will allow child care homes in agricultural districts.

The item now advances to the Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi planning commissions for further review.

Council Member Don Guzman who introduced the legislation explained that currently, residents in agricultural districts are forced to travel long distances from home and work to take their children to child care providers.  Under the bill, he said, providers could operate child care homes within their communities.

The council resolution comes on the heels of a similar measure signed into law by Governor Neil Abercrombie over the weekend that gives the counties the ability to amend their zoning codes in the manner proposed by Guzman.

House Bill 2560 (Act 210) was signed into law on Saturday during a ceremony at the Matsui Building in Makawao.

The measure, relating to family child care homes, permits the facilities in agriculturally designated districts, if located in a farm dwelling.  The law also amends the definition of a family care home to allow for care of one to six unrelated children.

“I want to thank community leaders who actively participated in the state legislative process to see this law enacted,” Guzman said in a county issued press release.  He continued saying, “Today’s action was a display of government efficiency.  I’m happy my colleagues supported expediting the resolution.”