Mayor signs temporary ban of 'monster homes'

Mayor signs temporary ban of 'monster homes'

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The mayor has signed into law a temporary moratorium on the construction of so-called "monster homes" on Oahu.

"How do we preserve the quality of life in our neighborhoods but also meet the growing demands for more affordable housing on this island, which becomes less and less affordable every year?" Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, at a news conference Tuesday.

He added that "super-sized" homes can't be properly assessed under current laws, and put stress on everything from sewer and water infrastructure to roads.

The law prohibits construction of new "monster homes" for up to two years. Under the measure:

  • A house cannot have a floor-area greater than 70 percent of the land its on.
  • There's a limit on the number of bathrooms per square foot.
  • And developers must also provide adequate parking.

Read the new law banning "monster homes" by clicking here.

The measure also requires the city Department of Planning and Permitting to enforce building codes and the land use ordinance.

Councilmembers have said the moratorium will give the city time to develop stricter regulations, and they hope it will also help catch those who are taking advantage of the law.

"The council took a stand to say these homes are not appropriate in the residential district," said Councilman Ikaika Andreson. "The only way to stop these homes from taking over our residential districts now immediately was through this moratorium."

But supporters of the large homes — often with eight bedrooms or more — have said the structures help address Oahu's demand for affordable housing, as well as provide one-roof housing options for multi-generational families.

Building industry representatives also fear a moratorium would affect construction of needed and legal housing.

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