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Honolulu mayor supports temporary ban on ‘monster houses’

December 21, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has backed a temporary ban on large-scale houses that have been sprouting up in older Oahu neighborhoods.

The so-called “monster houses” should be banned in residential zones until limits can be imposed on them, Caldwell said on Tuesday.

“The spread of monster homes is a serious issue that affects the well-being of families in long-established neighborhoods and we need to get a handle on the situation before it spirals out of control,” Caldwell said. “Although the construction of some of these monster homes is the result of Oahu’s need for housing, we cannot allow these oversized structures to change the character of our communities.”

Opponents to the houses that sometimes tower over neighboring homes claim these structures can overburden streets, sewers, water lines and other infrastructure. Opponents claim these homes are essentially small apartment buildings constructed in areas that are not designed to accommodate them.

Under Bill 110, the Department of Planning and Permitting would stop issuing building permits for these houses for up to two years or until the city council can adopt stricter regulations.

A moratorium, or temporary ban, would buy officials time to evaluate the impacts of the new dwellings, Caldwell said.

Earlier this month, the city council approved a resolution calling on the department to form a bill to determine the regulations such as the restrictions on size and parking spaces.

Supporters of the large homes said they are used by multi-generational families that can’t afford the condominiums being built.

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