Jul 2, 2017

Approved Building Permit Plans

Many approved permit drawings and related permit documents are already scanned by the Dept of Planning & Permitting:
AutoPermits (Document Scanning)
To fully enable electronic document retrieval and research, the Department continues the process of scanning microfilm records of permit plans. This process will ensure that all new permit plans are accessible in digital format. The Department also continues to scan new permit documents upon approval into digital image formats to be accessible through the POSSE system.
(City and County of Honolulu FY2011 Annual Report, Department of Planning & Permitting)
However, the public's access to these records is limited to printed hardcopies. Online access and the right to download these files digitally, is withheld.

Online access to these digital files would streamline the search and verification of critical building information and related details. These documents contain information of interest to the general public: building height, setbacks, number of required parking stalls, required landscaping and noise buffering. And these documents also provide critical information for design professionals: type of construction, fire-protection components, certificates of occupancy, permitted uses, and floor area calculations. More importantly, information in these Department of Planning & Permitting records are typically found nowhere else except on the approved plans and permit documents. High quality scans are important to accurately document critical building information and design professionals need access to the digital version of these documents.

The current practice of the Department of Planning & Permitting is to either print hardcopies of pdf'd documents or allow the public to view the original file and/or plan documents. However, the risk to retaining hardcopies of files and allowing the public to view original permit documents is misfiling or irrevocable damage/loss of all or portions of the original document. High quality digital scans and online access to view/download these files, are preferred.