Mayor details priorities in curtailing spread of ‘monster homes’
News Release from Office of the Mayor, Dec 20, 2017
Honolulu – To address the recent spread of large single-family dwellings that have been described by many as “monster homes,’ Mayor Kirk Caldwell is calling upon the Honolulu City Council to pass legislation that places a moratorium on their construction and allows the Department of Planning and Permitting sufficient time to draft legislation that would prevent these homes from springing up in our neighborhoods.
“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,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Although the construction of some of these monster homes is the result of O‘ahu’s need for housing, we cannot allow these oversized structures to change the character of our communities.”
Mayor Caldwell strongly supports the passage of Bill 110 (2017), which would place an immediate two-year moratorium on the construction of monster homes. The legislation introduced by Councilman Ikaika Anderson would allow the City Council and the Planning Commission enough time to fully explore and evaluate the rapid development of these large detached dwellings and determine what permanent amendments would be appropriate to the city’s long-term planning and regulatory controls.
The mayor also supports the following amendments to the Land Use Ordinance (LUO) that are currently under consideration by the Department of Planning and Permitting. These amendments would address the future construction of monster homes by requiring the following:
- Sufficient minimum number of parking stalls must be included within the footprint of the building
- Size restriction that is based on the size of a lot by using a floor area ratio appropriate for a single-family residential neighborhood
- Greater building setback from the property boundaries, perhaps for each story of the building, or by the proposed floor area
- Decreasing the area of the residential lot that a building is allowed to cover by the proposed floor area, or by some other measurement threshold
Mayor Caldwell hopes the City Council gives serious consideration to any amendments the Department of Planning and Permitting recommends as a result of their evaluation of the monster homes issue as they would draw a clear line as to what is allowed under the city’s design standards for single-family dwellings.
The mayor is also urging the City Council to take action on Bill 58 (2017) and Bill 59 (2017) that detail his affordable housing strategy that was announced during this year’s State of the City address.
“The inclusionary housing strategy contained in these two bills was introduced in late May on my behalf, and it’s time for the City Council to take decisive action on this legislation as the need for new housing only increases with each passing month,” said Mayor Caldwell. “These bills would keep units affordable for a much longer period of time and provide incentives to developers to help offset the cost of construction. Our young families and kupuna deserve no less and we cannot allow ourselves to become stuck in the failed policies of the status quo.”