City council passes bill to stop ‘monster homes’ by unanimous vote


By a unanimous 9-0 vote, the Honolulu City Council voted Wednesday to put a halt to so-called “monster homes” on Oahu.

Bill 110 (2017), CD2, FD1 sets guidelines depending on how large a home is. There are restrictions on how many parking spaces must be provided, how many bathrooms a home can have, and even the minimum amount of yard space.

If a home exceeds these guidelines, its building permit will be withheld.

“We’re going to see this proliferate if we don’t do anything, so this is the first step to put an immediate stop to the process and send a message to the people that we’re not going to put up with this,” said councilman Trevor Ozawa. “We’re going to stop this. We’re going to make some policy changes that’s going to take some time. But in the meantime, until we make those long-term changes, we’re going to stop it today.”

In the past, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has supported the effort to curb monster homes. He hasn’t said yet if he’ll sign this bill into law.

He said in a statement Wednesday: “I’m glad the City Council took its time to craft legislation that allows the construction of large homes as long as they are not physically imposing on the lots their built on and don’t negatively impact the quality of life in our residential neighborhoods. This really is an issue about the high cost of housing and I remain hopeful the City Council will pass my administration’s affordable housing legislation (Bill 58) in order to ensure more affordable units are built. The passage of Bill 58 is especially critical now that incentives have been provided to developers under Bill 59, which I recently signed into law.”

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