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Permit processing deadline becomes law in Oahu

November 29, 2018

HONOLULU (AP) — A measure requiring building permits for one- and two-family dwellings on Oahu to be processed within 60 days was allowed to become law without the mayor’s signature.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell allowed the measure to become law Wednesday, noting that he dislikes it and it could exacerbate issues at the Department of Planning and Permitting, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported .

The Honolulu City Council unanimously passed the bill this month.

Council Chairman Ernie Martin had introduced the measure that came as a result of the increasing number of complaints concerning permitting delays.

Construction industry leaders had backed the measure, saying the delays were making the home construction process inefficient, sometimes resulting in financial losses and layoffs.

The Department of Planning and Permitting had sought to postpone the bill. Kathy Sokugawa, the department’s acting director, had told officials that the 60-day deadline for the family dwellings would lead to longer delays for larger projects like high-rise condominiums.

Caldwell said he is introducing seven initiatives that aim to allow the department to streamline the permitting process. He would have preferred that these initiatives were allowed to be implemented and tested before the council passed the bill, he said.

The initiatives include allowing incomplete permit applications to be rejected immediately, allowing all permit applications utilizing third-party review to be accepted without rechecking or spot-checking, and limiting review cycles to no more than three for both residential and commercial projects.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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