Apr 7, 2010

Rebuilding a Nonconforming Structure

The current wording of the Nonconforming Structure provisions in the Honolulu Land Use Ordinance (Rev Ord of Honolulu Sec. 21-4.110(b)(1) and Sec 21-4.110(b)(3) is unclear as to when a portion of a nonconforming structure can be rebuilt.

How the City Dept of Planning and Permitting handles Nonconformities is especially important as in-fill projects we are seeing in Honolulu become more and more complicated.

As per my phone conversation with the Zoning Dept, "Nonconforming Structures" is a gray area in the Zoning Code and I was urged to write in to request clarification. This letter is an Interpretation Request asking the Dept of Planning and Permitting to clarify when/if portions of a Nonconforming Structure can be rebuilt.

Without a written Interpretation, projects are subject the the interpretation of the individual plan examiner assigned to review your project. This can be especially frustrating when the fate of your project hangs in the balance of one City employee, who you feel is interpreting the Land Use Ordinance incorrectly. In such cases, you can try appealing to their superior. If that fails, the only usual course of action is a Variance. Or, if you're like me, you use the Power of the Pen!

Rebuilding a Nonconforming Structure -