§91-13.5 Maximum time period for business or development-related permits, licenses, or approvals; automatic approval; extensions. (a) Unless otherwise provided by law, an agency shall adopt rules that specify a maximum time period to grant or deny a business or development-related permit, license, or approval; provided that the application is not subject to state administered permit programs delegated, authorized, or approved under federal law.
(b) All such issuing agencies shall clearly articulate informational requirements for applications and review applications for completeness in a timely manner.
(c) All such issuing agencies shall take action to grant or deny any application for a business or development-related permit, license, or approval within the established maximum period of time, or the application shall be deemed approved; provided that a delay in granting or denying an application caused by the lack of quorum at a regular meeting of the issuing agency shall not result in approval under this subsection; provided further that any subsequent lack of quorum at a regular meeting of the issuing agency that delays the same matter shall not give cause for further extension, unless an extension is agreed to by all parties.
(d) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any agency that reviews and comments upon an application for a business or development-related permit, license, or approval for a housing project developed under section 201H-38 shall respond within forty-five days of receipt of the application, or the application shall be deemed acceptable as submitted to the agency.
(e) The maximum period of time established pursuant to this section shall be extended in the event of a national disaster, state emergency, or union strike, which would prevent the applicant, the agency, or the department from fulfilling application or review requirements.
(f) This section shall not apply to:
(1) Any proceedings of the public utilities commission; or
(2) Any county or county agency that is exempted by county ordinance from this section.
(g) For purposes of this section, "application for a business or development-related permit, license, or approval" means any state or county application, petition, permit, license, certificate, or any other form of a request for approval required by law to be obtained prior to the formation, operation, or expansion of a commercial or industrial enterprise, or for any permit, license, certificate, or any form of approval required under sections 46-4, 46-4.2, 46-4.5, 46-5, and chapters 183C, 205, 205A, 340A, 340B, 340E, 340F, 342B, 342C, 342D, 342E, 342F, 342G, 342H, 342I, 342J, 342L, and 342P. [L 1998, c 164, §3; am L 2005, c 68, §1; am L 2006, c 217, §3 and c 280, §2; am L 2007, c 249, §43]
The liquor commission's failure to comply with §91-11, requiring that all commissioners personally consider the entire record before voting on a liquor license application, was not a "failure to act" such as would trigger the automatic approval provision of this section where the liquor commission voted, albeit ineffectively, within the fifteen day period prescribed by §281-59. 118 H. 320, 189 P.3d 432.
The intermediate court of appeals correctly determined that provisions of the Kauai County Code authorizing permit applicants to assent to a delay of automatic approval deadlines did not conflict with this section. 133 H. 141, 324 P.3d 951 (2014).
Assent provisions in two Kauai county ordinances applicable to a use permit and a class IV zoning permit did not conflict with this section; while the legislative history indicates that the purposes for enacting this section include streamlining administrative processes and improving Hawaii's business climate, the legislative history as a whole contemplates flexibility in rule-making and a balance between streamlining on one hand and constitutional demands, public input, and environmental concerns on the other hand. 130 H. 407 (App.), 312 P.3d 283 (2013).