HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

529

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to RESIDENTIAL real property.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that owners of real property have certain responsibilities, such as the reasonable maintenance of their premises and refraining from using the premises for unlawful activities. The legislature also finds that some property owners are unwilling or unable to fulfill these basic obligations. As a result, properties are not maintained in a safe and sanitary condition, or are the site of ongoing zoning violations. Examples of properties that are not reasonably maintained include those having accumulated trash, dilapidated structures, or unauthorized persons occupying the premises.

The legislature further finds that it is a matter of statewide concern when a real property owner fails to maintain premises in a safe and sanitary condition or engages in unpermitted uses of the property. The failure of the real property owner to act in a timely manner to address hazardous or illegal conditions jeopardizes the health and safety of neighboring residents and the larger community.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Authorize county police and planning or permitting agencies to enter privately owned residential real property, under certain specified conditions, to address imminent threats to health and safety or violations of county zoning laws; and

(2) Specify that a property owner who receives a notice of violation and fails to remediate the violation within the county planning or permitting agency's specified time frame shall be fined a minimum of $5,000 per day and subject to foreclosure proceedings if the fine is not paid within ninety days.

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

"46- Authority to enter private property; imminent threat; zoning violation; penalties. (a) Notwithstanding chapter 322, an officer of a county police department or county planning or permitting agency may enter privately owned residential real property, without the consent or cooperation of the owner or occupant of the real property, for the purpose of investigating any condition on the premises that the officer reasonably believes may:

(1) Pose an imminent threat:

(A) Of illness, disease, or injury; or

(B) To health or safety; or

(2) Constitute a violation of any county zoning ordinance, rule, or regulation that:

(A) Has been adopted in accordance with section 46-4; and

(B) Applies to residentially zoned real property.

(b) Upon confirmation that the condition specified in subsection (a) exists, the applicable county police department or county planning or permitting agency shall arrest, or issue a citation or notice of violation to, each responsible party, as appropriate; provided that:

(1) If the applicable county planning or permitting agency issues a notice of violation to the owner of the real property under this subsection, the owner of the real property shall remediate the condition that gave rise to the notice of violation, to the agency's satisfaction, within the agency's specified time frame;

(2) An owner of real property who fails to remediate the condition within the applicable county planning or permitting agency's specified time frame, as provided in paragraph (1), shall be assessed by the agency a fine of not less than $5,000 for each day the violation persists; and

(3) If the owner of real property fails to pay the assessed fine specified in paragraph (2) within ninety days of receiving notice of the fine assessment, the applicable county planning or permitting agency shall commence foreclosure proceedings on the real property without delay.

(c) The applicable county police department or county planning or permitting agency may request assistance from the department of health for any health-related condition on the real property that is beyond the expertise of the county police department or county planning or permitting agency.

(d) For the purposes of this section, a condition that may pose an imminent threat of illness, disease, or injury, or imminent threat to health or safety, includes:

(1) An unreasonable amount of accumulated trash;

(2) One or more dilapidated structures that may attract or house insects, vermin, or other pests;

(3) Occupation by one or more unauthorized persons when the property is not in a habitable condition or is not equipped with proper sanitary facilities; and

(4) Any nuisance described in section 322-1."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Residential Real Property; Private Owner; Health and Safety; Imminent Threat; Zoning Violation

 

Description:

Authorizes county police and planning or permitting agencies to enter privately owned residential real property, under certain specified conditions, to address imminent threats to health and safety or violations of county zoning laws. Specifies that a property owner who receives a notice of violation and fails to remediate the violation within the county planning or permitting agency's specified time frame shall be fined a minimum of $5,000 per day and subject to foreclosure proceedings if the fine is not paid within 90 days.

 

 

 

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