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Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Historic photo requirement lifted from buildings
By News Release @ 5:44 PM :: 5567 Views :: Energy, Environment

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle today signed a bill to repeal a nine-month-old law that placed a financial burden on building owners and created significant delays in obtaining building permits. 

HB520 HD1 SD1 repeals Act 228, passed by the Legislature last year, which required building and home owners to submit, at their expense, archival-quality, black-and-white print photos of all buildings and homes 50 years or older to the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) before the structure could be altered or demolished.

Under Act 228, county permitting agencies were prohibited from issuing permits for demolition, construction or other alteration of such structures until after the building or homeowner provided the black-and-white photos to SHPD, which then determined if the structure could be modified or demolished. 

“While my Administration recognizes the importance of protecting Hawai‘i’s historic structures and maintaining archival records of buildings, Act 228 placed a financial burden on owners of buildings and homes over 50 years old without considering the structures’ condition or whether they possessed historic integrity,” said Governor Lingle. “Act 228 further impeded the issuance of building permits at a time when we should be doing all we can to facilitate construction activity in order to stimulate the economy and create jobs.”

Last year, Governor Lingle allowed Act 228 to become law without her signature.  At that time, the Governor said the Administration would propose amendments to narrow the scope of Act 228 to only structures with historic significance or architectural integrity eligible for placement on the National or State Register of Historic Places.

While the Administration submitted a bill to amend Act 228 this legislative session, due to the testimony citing the financial costs to building and home owners, the significant delays in obtaining building permits and the added burden to the State Historic Preservation Division, rather than amend the measure, the Legislature decided to repeal the law they passed last year.

HB520 HD1 SD1 becomes Act 4 and takes effect immediately.

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RELATED: Historic Preservation - Unintended Consequences of Act 228

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