Temporary ban on ‘monster’ homes put on fast track at Honolulu Hale


The Honolulu City Council wants to fast track a temporary ban on “monster” homes.

But could this hurt multi-generational families looking to expand their homes?

Councilman Ikaika Anderson says monster homes have no place in a residential neighborhood.

“Fifteen or more bedrooms, 15 or more bathrooms, 15 or more vehicles parked all over the place. That is just not appropriate, and was never intended for an area zoned for single-family homes,” said Anderson.

On Tuesday, city council members made revisions to a proposal that would place a two-year ban on applications for “new large detached dwellings” that residents from Kaimuki to Kaneohe say are invading their neighborhoods.

“It’s obvious from anyone looking at it. It looks like a Motel 6 on the mainland,” said Gregory Spencer.

“I have concerns about traffic, parking, drainage, noise, safety, and impacts to the neighborhood,” Mary Lou Kobayashi told council members.

Tyler Dos Santos Tam, Hawaii Construction Alliance executive director, said, “At the end of the day, it’s very clear these homes are taxing our neighborhoods.”

Members of a city council committee agreed to consider a “monster home” any dwelling over 3,500 square feet,  though council members Trevor Ozawa and Kymberly Pine were concerned it could affect multi-generational families.

“Let’s make sure we don’t end up tying up people actually trying to add on a little bit to their house,” said Ozawa.

While he understood his fellow council members’ concerns, Anderson added, “That said, there is a safety valve in the bill. Then they would have option of coming before city council, making the case for their building permit.”

The bill would also limit these homes to two wet bars, one laundry room, increased setbacks for yards, and mandatory parking plans. Four or more parking spaces will require vehicles exit in a forward matter, and limit tandem parking to two stacked parking stalls.

Anderson says he wants to pass the proposal to law as soon as possible, and hopes to have it done by Feb. 13.

If it passes, the proposal would immediately take effect.

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