On February 5, 2018, the Council’s Planning Committee heard voluminous testimony both for and against a short-term moratorium on the issuance of new building permits for ‘monster homes’ being built in single-family neighborhoods. The initial amendments to Bill 110, CD1 imposed a 3,500’ square foot threshold on properties considered to be ‘monster homes,’ but the Bill 110, CD2 amendments adopted this week rely on Department of Planning and Permitting recommendations to use Floor Area Ratios (FAR) to determine which structures would be considered ‘monster homes’ under the moratorium.
The bill is being fast-tracked by the Honolulu City Council to close the existing ‘monster home’ loophole that has allowed a three-story home with 28 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms to be built in an older, single-family neighborhood like Aiea/Halawa Heights, or Kalihi Valley. Bill 110, CD2 is positioned for adoption on third/final reading before the City Council as early as Tuesday, February 13, 2018. The influx of these ‘monster homes’ in older neighborhoods has also resulted in dramatic real property tax increases for neighbors of such structures in other communities.