On February 13, 2018, the City Council voted to defer a final third reading vote on Bill 110, CD2) to the regular February 28th Council meeting after two hours of spirited testimony both for and against a short-term moratorium.
Floor Draft 1 amendments proposed by Councilmembers Anderson, Fukunaga
and Ozawa) prohibiting new building permits for ‘monster homes’ in single-family neighborhoods included criteria for numbers of bathrooms, off-street parking requirements, setbacks and other features to prevent ‘monster’ structures in older urban communities.
The moratorium measure has been fast-tracked by the Honolulu City Council to close the existing ‘monster home’ loophole that has allowed a three-story home with 29 bedrooms and 18 bathrooms to be built in older, single-family neighborhoods like Aiea/Halawa Heights or Kalihi Valley.
Opponents of the Proposed FD1 amendments, which included a mix of criteria tied to a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of .7 for lots up to 4,000 square feet in size, pointed out that new multi-generational homes designed by local contractors would not be able to obtain building permits under the moratorium amendments under consideration.
In the Kalihi Valley area, complaints have included the following:
- Kalihi Street property with 20 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms: a Notice of Violation issued in November 2017 for additions and alternations not included on the building permit were not corrected; the NOV was referred to the Code Compliance branch for enforcement.
- Houghtailing Street property with 29 bedrooms and 18 bathrooms.
- Two other Kalihi Street properties: one property had its building permit revoked, both involved the construction of two-story single-family dwellings with a 10 or more bedrooms.
We have received over 20 complaints about monster homes being built in District 6. Of those that we have tracked closely, several appear financed by foreign investors, whose contractors/construction crews have worked within roughly 90-day periods to complete construction as rapidly as possible.
The influx of these ‘monster homes’ in older neighborhoods may also result in dramatic real property tax increases for neighbors of such structures in other communities.