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Honolulu officials revoke building permits for controversial Sierra Drive multi-dwelling project

The owners of 3615 Sierra Drive were fined by the Department of Planning and Permitting last week for demolishing the two onsite properties without a permit. Neighbors say the crew failed to take proper safety precautions, and they are concerned of the environmental and health risks associated with the illegal demolition.
Casey Harlow / HPR
FILE - The construction site at 3615 Sierra Dr. in 2021.

There’s a new development in the controversial case of a multi-dwelling project under construction in Honolulu. Last year, HPR covered the story of the site at 3615 Sierra Dr. in Kaimuki.

Honolulu planning officials revoked the project’s three building permits on Thursday for violating the city’s “monster homes” laws.

The Department of Planning and Permitting says it reevaluated the Sierra Drive plans and found the developer submitted incorrect information on the permit applications.

DPP found the project exceeded the city’s floor area ratio threshold, which determines restrictions under the city’s monster home ordinances.

It also exceeded the number of permitted bathrooms and wet bars, and doesn’t provide sufficient side yards.

In addition to the permit revocation, the department also issued violation notices and stop-work orders to the developer and owner.

They can appeal the permit revocation but must do so within the next 10 business days.

In a release, DPP Deputy Director Dawn Apuna says the recent permit revocation “doesn’t end here.”

She says the department is reviewing other suspected monster homes — mainly in East Honolulu.

DPP says it has received numerous complaints from the community, prompting the reviews.

Casey Harlow was an HPR reporter and occasionally filled in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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