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Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Caldwell Allows 60-Day Permitting Bill to Become Law Without Signature
By News Release @ 10:09 PM :: 6361 Views :: Honolulu County, Development, Small Business

Mayor Caldwell takes action on Bill 64 and introduces new initiatives to streamline permitting

News Release from Office of the Mayor, Nov 28, 2018

Honolulu – Today, Mayor Kirk Caldwell held press a conference to discuss allowing Bill 64 (2018), CD1 to become law without his signature (letter to City Council attached). The new law calls for permit applications for one and two family dwellings that utilize one-time review to be processed by the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) within 60 days.

However, Bill 64 requires certain mandates that residents and contractors should be aware of. For example, the revocation of a permit if a violation flagged by DPP is not corrected within 30 days of issuance.

During the press conference Mayor Caldwell also announced the following DPP initiatives to help streamline the permitting process.

Third Party Review

All permit applications utilizing third party review will be accepted without re-checking or spot-checking.

This will allow the applicable plans examiners to spend their time on other projects, and allow applications involving third party reviewers to move through the review process more quickly. It also puts accountability squarely on the third party reviewer who is getting compensated for this responsibility.

Incomplete Plans Rejected

Incomplete permit applications will be immediately rejected.

The goal of this initiative is to help ease the current permitting backlog by reducing the extra time now required to review poor drawings or inadequate information. The time saved will be spent on quality applications, which generally require less review time by DPP staff.

Limited Review Cycle

Limit of three (3) review cycles for commercial and residential projects. If the above limits are exceeded, the application is rejected.

This initiative is meant to serve as an incentive to submit high-quality applications and respond completely to deficiencies noted by DPP staff. Consequently, it reduces the amount of time staff spends on each application. Quality applications are therefore rewarded.

Automatic Online Permitting

Various categories of work for non-structural items can be processed online. About 30 percent of all building permits are applied for, paid for, and issued online. 

This will save time for the applicant as they can access the online system 24/7. The Department of Planning and Permitting seeks to improve use of this option to 40 percent of all applications by publicizing its availability. DPP wants to continue expanding the use of online permitting.

The online permitting can be accessed at the following URL:

Mālama Mondays

For the next three months plans examiners at both Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale will devote the entire day on Mondays to address backlogged permit applications. The exception is to pay for building permit fees and issue permits with cashiers. There will be no over-the-counter service or appointments on Mondays. Appointments that have already been scheduled for an upcoming Monday will be honored.

Mālama Mondays will allow permit examiners to concentrate mostly on plan reviews. This pilot project will be evaluated once the three month pilot period is finished.

Hiring of new staff

By mid-December four new plan reviewers will begin working. Two new residential plans reviewers have been hired this month and are currently in training. Two Additional residential reviewers will begin training soon. A total of four new residential reviewers have been hired

DPP will also hire at least two experienced plan checkers on 89-day contracts to help with backlog and to mentor new staff.

Permits for retrofitting of fire sprinklers issued within 120 day

DPP will approve permits as soon as possible, but no longer than 120 days for applications limited to the retrofitting of fire sprinklers.


Council Zoning & Housing Committee Takes Action to Alleviate Building Permit Delays

News Release from Office of Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine, Nov 29, 2018

HONOLULU – Today, Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine, and the members of the Zoning and Housing Committee, passed Resolution 18-272, which urges the Administration to implement emergency procedures to alleviate the building permit delays, including transferring funds to pay for overtime, authorizing emergency hires, and other solutions.

At today’s meeting, Kathy Sokugawa, Acting Director of the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP), testified that DPP was in support of the Resolution, and has begun implementing the Council’s recommended temporary emergency measures, including:

(1) Transferring funds to fund emergency hires;

(2) Using personal service contracts to fill additional building permit application and plan review positions;

(3) Authorizing overtime pay to provide for more working hours; and

(4) Authorizing the contracting of qualified private entities to assist with review and inspection activities across all aspects of the building permit process.

“As Chair of the Committee on Zoning and Housing and as a member of the Committee on Budget, I am in full support of the Department of Planning and Permitting taking the Council’s recommendations to heart as they move forward with implementing these temporary measures, while the Council works with local businesses and stakeholders to develop a permanent solution this real crisis.

“We cannot allow any more of our residents to lose their jobs because of city government’s failure to process building permits in an efficient and timely manner.”

Resolution 18-272 will have a final hearing in the City Council’s monthly meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at Honolulu Hale. The Resolution is in conjunction with Bill 64, CD1 (2018) that was adopted by the City Council on November 14, 2018 and will become law on December 3rd.

Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine represents residents of District One (ʻEwa, ʻEwa Beach, Kapolei, Honokai Hale, Ko ʻOlina, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae, Makaha, Keaau, Makua) and is the Chair of the Committee on Zoning and Housing. 

# # # #

SA: Measure to speed building permit approval becomes law

PBN: Caldwell allows Honolulu building permit bill to become law, unveils new plans to speed permit process


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