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Honolulu City Council approves bill aimed at streamlining permitting process

Construction new housing development real estate generic
Tony Gutierrez/AP
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AP
FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2021, file photo construction workers erect the frames of a home in a new subdivision in Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

The Honolulu City Council believes a measure it just approved will make the permitting process easier.

Honolulu councilmembers approved Bill 51 Wednesday with the hope it will help streamline the permitting process.

The measure replaces a notary requirement with an online form that property owners can submit to affirm they have no pending fines or penalties with the city.

However, the city still reserves the right to withhold a building permit if an owner is found to have any outstanding fines.

Councilmember Brandon Elefante introduced the measure at the request of stakeholders, who sometimes paid a $75 fee for a traveling notary’s services.

One company testified that it would likely submit a thousand applications by the end of this year, which would add another $75,000 in annual costs.

Those costs could likely be passed on to consumers.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi has 10 days to sign Bill 51, or it will become law automatically. It would go into effect immediately.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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