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Understanding Hawaii’s New “Monster Homes” Bill

Individuals hoping to build a new home in Honolulu’s residential zones may need to alter their construction plans in response to Bill 110, a land-use ordinance recently signed by Mayor Caldwell and considered effective as of March 13, 2018.

Created in response to the increase of “monster homes” on Oahu, this bill places an immediate moratorium on the construction of all large dwellings in residential areas. While the long-term results of this bill are still being determined, interim regulations state that no new permits will be accepted or issued for the development of large detached dwellings or the conversion of existing structures into a LDDs, unless said plans conform to additional ordinance provisions.

Additionally, no permits will be issued for two-family homes in the R-5 residential zone on lots less than 10,000 square feet, as homes built on these properties are seen as potential candidates for conversion into illegal multifamily apartment-style dwellings or short-term vacation rentals.

Large dwellings are defined as any structure that exceeds a .7 FAR (Floor Area Ratio.) For example, if your home is built on a 5,000 square foot lot, the home cannot exceed 3,500 square feet. New LDD builds must comply with the following regulations in order to receive a building permit:

  • The number of wet bars cannot exceed two.
  • Each new dwelling can only include one laundry room.
  • Additional off-street parking spaces must be provided, the number of spaces increasing in direct proportion to the size of the home. For instance, a 2,500 square foot home must provide 2 off-street spaces, while a 4,500 square foot home must provide 5.
  • Likewise, the number of bathrooms permitted in new builds is limited based on size. Homes up to 4,000-square feet cannot include more than 2.5 bathrooms, and the bathrooms in homes between 7,000-8,000 square feet cannot exceed 6.5

Proponents of Bill 110 hope that eliminating the construction of “monster homes” will prevent newly constructed homes from comprising the character of residential areas, as well as avoiding unreasonable strains on a community’s infrastructure and energy consumption.

In order to ensure compliance with the regulations outlined in Bill 110, all new builds will undergo post-construction inspections, and penalties will be levied to anyone found in violation.

Fortunately, complying with this ordinance does not prevent potential home builders from designing and creating a beautiful dream home in Oahu. Contact us today for a free estimate and assistance connecting with the perfect architect or builder specially trained to help you maximize all the available space in your new home.

 

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