Last Wednesday, the County Council approved Bill 2318 that allows bona fide farmers to build small dwellings for their workers on their land and to provide decent living conditions in exchange for labor. Despite overwhelming testimony from local farmers and the support of the Kauai County Farm Bureau it took the Council several years and countless deferrals to fine-tune and finally pass this bill 5-1. Chair Kaipo Asing, citing fear of abuse, voted against it. Councilman Daryl Kaneshiro recused himself from voting, alleging conflict of interest because he is a farmer. As soon as Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. signs the bill into law, farmers who generate an
annual gross income of over $35,000 from farming and have an agriculture dedication in place will be able to apply for permits to build up to three farm-worker dwellings of no more than 1,800 square feet of combined area. This is a big step in the right direction, supporting our local farmers, and working toward food sustainability on Kauai.