HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to housing capacity.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii's lack of affordable housing requires reform of zoning laws that have restricted housing density in residential districts. The majority of urban districts statewide that allow for residential use are zoned for single-family housing, which limits the ability of property owners to create affordable units that meet the needs of middle-income families.
The legislature further finds that multiple states and municipalities across the country have successfully reformed zoning laws to allow construction of duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes in areas zoned for detached single-family homes. This moderate change allows for the speedier creation of more housing without affecting the character of neighborhoods involved or stressing local infrastructure.
Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to require the counties to reform their zoning ordinances to permit the construction of duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes on all residential land where single-family homes are permitted that have an urban state land use district classification. Reform would address standards relating to lot size, parking requirements, floor area, height, setbacks, and other existing development restrictions that are incompatible with the construction of multi-unit dwellings and an increase in housing density. Moreover, this Act encourages the counties to identify and reform any portions of the county code relating to permitting, building, or planning that could make it difficult for property owners to build such multi-unit dwellings.
SECTION 2. Section 46-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§46-4 County zoning.
(a) This section and any
ordinance, rule, or regulation adopted in accordance with this section shall
apply to lands not contained within the forest reserve boundaries as established
on January 31, 1957, or as subsequently amended.
Zoning in all counties shall be
accomplished within the framework of a long-range, comprehensive general plan
prepared or being prepared to guide the overall future development of the
county. Zoning shall be one of the tools
available to the county to put the general plan into effect in an orderly
manner. Zoning in the counties of
Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai means the establishment of districts of such number,
shape, and area, and the adoption of regulations for each district to carry out
the purposes of this section. In establishing
or regulating the districts, full consideration shall be given to all available
data as to soil classification and physical use capabilities of the land to
allow and encourage the most beneficial use of the land consonant with good
zoning practices. The zoning power
granted herein shall be exercised by ordinance which may relate to:
areas within which agriculture, forestry, industry, trade, and business may be
areas in which residential uses may be regulated or prohibited;
areas bordering natural watercourses, channels, and streams, in which trades or
industries, filling or dumping, erection of structures, and the location of
buildings may be prohibited or restricted;
areas in which particular uses may be subjected to special restrictions;
location of buildings and structures designed for specific uses and designation
of uses for which buildings and structures may not be used or altered;
location, height, bulk, number of stories, and size of buildings and other
location of roads, schools, and recreation areas;
setback lines and future street lines;
density and distribution of population;
percentage of a lot that may be occupied, size of yards, courts, and other open
and maximum lot sizes; and
regulations the boards or city council find necessary and proper to permit and
encourage the orderly development of land resources within their jurisdictions[
provided that each county shall adopt reasonable
standards to allow the construction of up to four dwelling units on any land
with an urban state land use district classification that is zoned for
residential use where a single-family dwelling unit is permitted. These standards shall include amendments to existing
restrictions relating to lot size, parking requirements, floor area, height,
setbacks, and other zoning ordinances that are incompatible with the
construction of multi-unit dwellings and an increase in housing density. Counties are encouraged to identify and reform
any portions of the county code relating to permitting, building, or planning
that may frustrate construction of the increased number of dwelling units.
The council of any county shall prescribe
rules, regulations, and administrative procedures and provide personnel it
finds necessary to enforce this section and any ordinance enacted in accordance
with this section. The ordinances may be
enforced by appropriate fines and penalties, civil or criminal, or by court
order at the suit of the county or the owner or owners of real estate directly
affected by the ordinances.
Any civil fine or penalty provided by
ordinance under this section may be imposed by the district court, or by the
zoning agency after an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to chapter 91. The proceeding shall not be a prerequisite
for any injunctive relief ordered by the circuit court.
Nothing in this section shall invalidate
any zoning ordinance or regulation adopted by any county or other agency of
government pursuant to the statutes in effect prior to July 1, 1957.
The powers granted herein shall be
liberally construed in favor of the county exercising them, and in such a
manner as to promote the orderly development of each county or city and county
in accordance with a long-range, comprehensive general plan to ensure the
greatest benefit for the State as a whole.
This section shall not be construed to limit or repeal any powers of any
county to achieve these ends through zoning and building regulations, except
insofar as forest and water reserve zones are concerned and as provided in
subsections (c) and (d) and the multi-unit dwelling requirement in this subsection
relating to residential development in the urban district.
Neither this section nor any ordinance
enacted pursuant to this section shall prohibit the continued lawful use of any
building or premises for any trade, industrial, residential, agricultural, or
other purpose for which the building or premises is used at the time this
section or the ordinance takes effect; provided that a zoning ordinance may
provide for elimination of nonconforming uses as the uses are discontinued, or
for the amortization or phasing out of nonconforming uses or signs over a
reasonable period of time in commercial, industrial, resort, and apartment
zoned areas only. In no event shall such
amortization or phasing out of nonconforming uses apply to any existing
building or premises used for residential (single-family or duplex) or
agricultural uses. Nothing in this
section shall affect or impair the powers and duties of the director of
transportation as set forth in chapter 262.
Any final order of a zoning agency established under this section may be
appealed to the circuit court of the circuit in which the land in question is
found. The appeal shall be in accordance
with the Hawaii rules of civil procedure.
Each county may adopt reasonable standards to allow the construction of
two single-family dwelling units on any lot, except a lot with an urban
state land use district classification, where a residential dwelling unit
Neither this section nor any other law, county ordinance, or rule shall
prohibit group living in facilities with eight or fewer residents for purposes
or functions that are licensed, certified, registered, or monitored by the
State; provided that a resident manager or a resident supervisor and the
resident manager's or resident supervisor's family shall not be included in
this resident count. These group living
facilities shall meet all applicable county requirements not inconsistent with
the intent of this subsection, including but not limited to building height,
setback, maximum lot coverage, parking, and floor area requirements.
Neither this section nor any other law, county ordinance, or rule shall
prohibit the use of land for employee housing and community buildings in
plantation community subdivisions as defined in section 205-4.5(a)(12); in
addition, no zoning ordinance shall provide for the elimination, amortization,
or phasing out of plantation community subdivisions as a nonconforming use.
(f) Neither this section nor any other law, county ordinance, or rule shall prohibit the use of land for medical cannabis production centers or medical cannabis dispensaries established and licensed pursuant to chapter 329D; provided that the land is otherwise zoned for agriculture, manufacturing, or retail purposes."
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. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Housing; Urban District; County Zoning; Single-family Residential; Duplexes; Triplexes; Fourplexes
Requires each county to adopt reasonable standards to allow the construction of up to four dwelling units on any land with an urban state land use district classification that is zoned for residential use where a single-family dwelling unit is permitted.
The summary description
of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is
not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.