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Mayor Signs Temporary Moritorium on "Monster Homes" Ordinance

Wayne Yoshioka

A temporary ban on over-sized homes on O’ahu was formally implemented today. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 



Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a temporary moratorium on "monster homes" into city ordinance. Councilmembers Ikaika Anderson (right) and Kimberly Pine, look on.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bill 110 into city ordinance, limiting planned residential structures to no more than 70 percent of lot size or a 3,500 square foot home on a 5-thousand square foot lot.  The mayor says the city wants to send a clear message to property owners and builders.


“We wanted to create some simple bright lines so those who are building these types of homes know, right up front, what they can do and not do and not just stop homes from being built that are large but stop homes being built that are gonna have a lot of people living in them that are not related family members.”


The temporary moratorium also requires 15-foot side and back yards, no more than 12.5 bathrooms and 2 wet bars.  Department of Planning and Permitting director, Kathy Sokugawa, says parking cannot exceed 12 stalls plus maneuver area.


“Not only do you have to provide the parking requirement but you also have to be able to back out of the lot and leave the lot in a forward manner.  That would significantly take up space on the property.”


Sokugawa says DPP has issued 44 notices of violations relating to “monster homes” since last November.  Developers or land owners are given enough time to correct a physical violation or face civil fines as high as one-thousand dollars per day.  But, she says, enforcement of one aspect of the current city ordinance is much more difficult.


“The harder part is the occupancy issue and who’s actually living or dwelling or visiting in these larger homes.  Is it an unlicensed care home; is it more than 5 unrelated individuals; is it a vacation rental?  Those are more challenging.”


Occupancy violations on O’ahu can be reported to DPP at 768-8161.

Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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