Category Archives: HSCA Position – Bill 270

Official HSCA position on Bill #270

HSCA Position – Bill 270

TO: County of Hawaii Council Members

FROM:  Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance  (representing over 200 members)

The population of  Hawaii  County is one of the most economically and culturally diverse of any county in the USA yet we have only one Building Code based upon the erroneous assumption that “one size will work for all”.  Other  mainland Counties have adopted  optional alternative building codes that have proved successful in maintaining health and safety standards while allowing for diversity in construction methods and materials.

Our Alliance proposes that an amendment be attached to Bill #270 requiring our County Administration to adopt an optional alternative building code within one year.

The County of Hawaii presently has many thousands of residents living in non-compliant homes. These people are not in financial stress due to mortgages in a time when so many other people are in danger of losing their homes due to the rising numbers of bank foreclosures the recession continues to create.

Residents living in non-compliant homes are mostly homesteaders, financing their own construction sustainably, in a traditional fashion, that needs to be supported. The County needs to creatively find ways to bring these homeowners into legal compliance without increasing the risks of homelessness.

Our Alliance requests the removal of Page 19. Section 5-61. Criminal prosecution.  If passed this will make criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens presently living in unpermitted or unfinaled homes.

Section 5-60, Administrative enforcement., and section. 5-62 Injunctive action., are available at present and are sufficient for the purposes intended.


HSCA Minutes on Neighbors

HSCA Minutes on Neighbors


We suggest that if a neighbor complains, that neighbor should also be checked to be sure that they are in compliance. Neighbor Reciprocity.  Ask for the police or someone else to to come and mediate, before the complaint is dealt with in court.

We should address this with Jeff at the planning dept. and other county officials.


Neighbor Complaints. If a neighbor complains, that neighbor should also be checked to be sure that they are in compliance with zoning issues to avoid spurious claims. Known as “Neighbor Reciprocity”.  Ask for the police or County Policing Officer to to come and mediate, before the complaint is dealt with in court. Can we push for this in legislation?

Karin:  She learned we went after the county with ignorance and an adversarial attitude, that made it hard.  She went right to the Gov officials and talked to them.  Don’t look at it as “us against them”.   Also it is very important to connect with any neighbors who might be impacted and complain.

Scott:  wants to make a regulation that says: You can’t file a complaint unless you live here, and you can’t file a complaint unless you have been here one year.  this would be a legislative change.  He spends a lot of time just being a referee between neighbors.