Remove affidavit requirement to receive building permits

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Honolulu City Council Committee on Zoning on May 22, 2024.

May 22, 2024, 9 a.m.
Honolulu Hale

To: Honolulu City Council, Committee on Zoning
      Calvin Say, Chair
      Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, Vice Chair

From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
           Ted Kefalas, Director of Strategic Campaigns


Aloha Chair Say, Vice-Chair Dos Santos-Tam and other members of the Committee,

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii would like to offer its comments in support of the portions of Bill 10 (2024) that would remove the affidavit requirements for individuals and businesses applying for building permits.

Current law requires an affidavit that shows ownership of the lot where the building permit would be used and paperwork that states the owner has no outstanding fines or liens against the property payable to the city.

These rules can make it more difficult for some owners, such as businesses or individuals who own multiple lots, to receive a building permit.

Some applicants might struggle to obtain an affidavit in a timely fashion. Furthermore, an outstanding fine on one property should not prevent an applicant from receiving a building permit to do work on another.

As the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting noted,[1] it already possesses the power to require additional documentation from permit applicants to verify their ownership of whatever property might be in question. Removing the requirement from the law would simply allow DPP to use this authority on an as-needed basis.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

Ted Kefalas
Director of Strategic Campaigns
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

[1] Dawn Takeuchi Apuna, “Draft Bill for an Ordinance Relating to Building Permit Applications,” Feb. 20, 2024.

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