Report Title:

Affordable Housing; Forty-five-day Review



Expedites the construction of affordable housing units by requiring ministerial permits associated with the project to be issued by the county within forty-five days of county council approval of the project.



S.B. NO.


















     SECTION 1.  In August 2007, Hawaii accepted an invitation by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to join the National Call to Action for Affordable Housing Through Regulatory Reform.  The Call to Action presented an opportunity for Hawaii to receive technical assistance from the federal government and collaborate with other states, counties, municipalities, and organizations to knock down the barriers imposed by governments in hopes of building more affordable housing.  Governor Lingle convened a statewide task force comprised of representatives from the counties, business, labor, developers, architects, nonprofit providers of services, and the State to carry out the mission of the Call to Action and recommend solutions to address barriers to affordable housing.  Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to implement the legislative recommendations of the task force.

     The State recognizes that the need for more affordable housing in Hawaii remains a significant problem affecting all segments of society.  Although there is a process in place that provides an opportunity to approve affordable housing project proposals in an expedited manner at the state and county levels, the ministerial permits that are issued subsequent to project approval may take a significant amount of time to issue.  This delay adds costs to the affordable housing project, ultimately affecting the buyer or renter, and lengthens the time it takes for the unit to be constructed and occupied.  Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to place standard time frames on agency issuance of ministerial permits for approved affordable housing projects.

     SECTION 2.  Section 201H-38, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

     "§201H-38  Housing development; exemption from statutes, ordinances, charter provisions, and rules.  (a)  The corporation may develop on behalf of the State or with an eligible developer, or may assist under a government assistance program in the development of, housing projects that shall be exempt from all statutes, ordinances, charter provisions, and rules of any government agency relating to planning, zoning, construction standards for subdivisions, development and improvement of land, and the construction of dwelling units thereon; provided that:

     (1)  The corporation finds the housing project is consistent with the purpose and intent of this chapter, and meets minimum requirements of health and safety;

     (2)  The development of the proposed housing project does not contravene any safety standards, tariffs, or rates and fees approved by the public utilities commission for public utilities or of the various boards of water supply authorized under chapter 54;

     (3)  The legislative body of the county in which the housing project is to be situated shall have approved the project with or without modifications:

         (A)  The legislative body shall approve, approve with modification, or disapprove the project by resolution within forty-five days after the corporation has submitted the preliminary plans and specifications for the project to the legislative body.  If on the forty‑sixth day a project is not disapproved, it shall be deemed approved by the legislative body;

         (B)  No action shall be prosecuted or maintained against any county, its officials, or employees on account of actions taken by them in reviewing, approving, modifying, or disapproving the plans and specifications; and

         (C)  The final plans and specifications for the project shall be deemed approved by the legislative body if the final plans and specifications do not substantially deviate from the preliminary plans and specifications.  The final plans and specifications for the project shall constitute the zoning, building, construction, and subdivision standards for that project.  For purposes of sections 501-85 and 502‑17, the executive director of the corporation or the responsible county official may certify maps and plans of lands connected with the project as having complied with applicable laws and ordinances relating to consolidation and subdivision of lands, and the maps and plans shall be accepted for registration or recordation by the land court and registrar; and

     (4)  The land use commission shall approve, approve with modification, or disapprove a boundary change within forty-five days after the corporation has submitted a petition to the commission as provided in section 205‑4.  If, on the forty-sixth day, the petition is not disapproved, it shall be deemed approved by the commission.

     (b)  For the purposes of this section, "government assistance program" means a housing program qualified by the corporation and administered or operated by the corporation or the United States or any of their political subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, corporate or otherwise.

     (c)  State and county agencies shall issue any ministerial permits associated with any project approved pursuant to subsection (a) or section 46-15.1, within forty-five days from the date the application for such permit is approved by the applicable legislative body or state or county agency; provided that the review procedure for ministerial permits performed by any state or county agency is limited to not more than two comprehensive reviews.

     (d)  For the purposes of this section, "ministerial permits" means any nondiscretionary permit for which the permit administrator needs to determine only conformity with applicable ordinances before approving the project."

     SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon approval.






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