THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2341

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2014

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to application processing.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the process of reviewing permits, licenses, and approvals for workforce housing and other projects submitted to the State and each county is long and often results in significant delays prior to the start of each project. The legislature envisions that the enactment of certain statutory provisions will help to streamline and enhance the efficiency of the permit and license review and approval process. For example, statutory provisions that establish a maximum time period within which agencies must grant or deny related permits, licenses, and approvals will expedite the start of construction for workforce housing projects throughout the State and will result in the generation of construction and other related jobs that are badly needed in the economy.

In 2009, the legislature adopted senate concurrent resolution no. 132, S.D. 1, which established the construction industry task force (task force) to determine the economic value of the construction industry in Hawaii. As directed in the concurrent resolution, the task force was charged with developing a series of recommendations to stimulate the construction industry and create new jobs in the local construction industry. Unfortunately, to date, many of the task force's recommendations have yet to be enacted by the legislature. The intent of this Act is to enact and implement one of the recommendations of the task force in an effort to support the local construction industry.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to streamline portions of the review process for permits, licenses, and approvals to minimize time delays and to expedite the start of construction for workforce housing and other projects, which will result in the generation of construction and other related jobs.

SECTION 2. Chapter 46, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"46-   Third-party permit, license, and approval processing review. (a) Each county shall be authorized to provide a third-party with permit, license, and approval processing review powers that are aimed at increasing the efficiency and timeliness of permit, license, or approval applications submitted to the State or respective county.

Specifically, each county shall be authorized to contract with licensed architects and engineers that are qualified by the respective county to certify compliance with various building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and structural codes, as well as land use ordinances, in reviewing an application for a permit, license, or approval.

(b) Third-party reviewers shall be retained by an owner of the property being reviewed, and all fees and costs for third-party review services shall be the responsibility of the owner of the property being reviewed.

(c) Third-party reviewers shall conduct their review services for the purpose of certifying that the proposed plans and specifications are in compliance with any applicable federal, state, or county laws, rules, ordinances, and codes. Certifications by third-party reviewers shall be limited to only those areas approved by the State or respective county and those areas in which the third-party reviewer is licensed.

(d) Third-party reviewers shall not have the authority to grant any modifications, variances, waivers, exemptions, or other discretionary approvals.

(e) An individual or entity that provides third-party review services that are authorized and in accordance with this section shall be immune from liability, except for acts of the third-party reviewer that result from the reviewer's intentional misconduct, gross negligence, or malfeasance."

SECTION 3. Section 6E-42, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"6E-42 Review of proposed projects. (a) Before any agency or officer of the State or its political subdivisions approves any project involving a permit, license, certificate, land use change, subdivision, or other entitlement for use, which may affect historic property, aviation artifacts, or a burial site, the agency or office shall advise the department and prior to any approval allow the department an opportunity for review and comment on the effect of the proposed project on historic properties, aviation artifacts, or burial sites, consistent with section 6E-43, including those listed in the Hawaii register of historic places. If:

(1) The proposed project consists of corridors or large land areas;

(2) Access to properties is restricted; or

(3) Circumstances dictate that construction be done in stages,

the department's review and comment may be based on a phased review of the project; provided that there shall be a programmatic agreement between the department and the project applicant that identifies each phase and the estimated timelines for each phase.

(b) The department shall inform the public of any project proposals submitted to it under this section that are not otherwise subject to the requirement of a public hearing or other public notification.

(c) The department shall have a maximum of forty-five days to complete a review and comment on the effect of a proposed project on historic properties, aviation artifacts, or burial sites, consistent with section 6E-43, including those listed in the Hawaii register of historic places, beginning from the time the department is advised of the proposed project by an agency or officer of the State or its political subdivision. If the department fails to complete a review and comment on the effect of a proposed project within forty-five days, the proposed project shall be deemed to be approved. Projects previously reviewed by the department pursuant to this section and found to have no impact on historic properties, aviation artifacts, or burial sites shall not be subject to subsequent department reviews.

[(c)] (d) The department shall adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 to implement this section."

SECTION 4. Section 91-13.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By amending subsection (a) to read:

"(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. If an agency does not have a maximum time period to grant or deny a permit, license, or approval adopted by rule pursuant to this section, the application for permit, license, or approval shall be deemed approved thirty calendar days after a completed application is submitted to the State or respective county agency; provided that the completed application is submitted to the State or respective county on or after January 1, 2015."

2. By amending subsections (f) and (g) to read:

"(f) This section shall not apply to[:

(1) Any] 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[.], and shall include any permit, license, certificate, or other form of approval for county land use, subdivision, grading, grubbing, building, or plan approval."

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.


SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Construction Industry Task Force; Permit Processing; Approvals; Maximum Time; Application

 

Description:

Establishes a maximum time period within which an application for permit, license, or approval shall be acted upon by the designated agency or else deemed granted; authorizes each county to contract with a third-party reviewer to streamline the processing of applications; clarifies that previously approved projects that do not impact historic properties are not subject to subsequent reviews by SHPD.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.