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Big Island to Expedite Residential Building Permit Applications

October 30, 2021, 4:28 PM HST
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Per a new agreement between Mayor Mitch Roth and the Hawaiʻi County Department of Public Works (DPW), DPW will begin expediting the review of all Residential Building Permit Applications submitted before Oct, 1, 2021, which contain the proper certification of a licensed professional and for which construction will be performed by a licensed contractor.

The decision comes as the county continues to experience an unprecedented backlog of building permit applications, with in excess of 1,500 presently in the queue.

Staffing shortages within the DPW Building Division Plans and Permitting Review Section, along with continuing challenges in growing the proficiency of DPW Building Division staff with the new EPIC system have contributed to the backlog, according to county officials.

Proper Owner Declaration forms and Project Declaration forms for these permit applications shall be accurately completed and submitted prior to issuance of a permit in compliance with HCC 5-4-1(a)(7) and HCC 5-4-4, respectively.

In addition, all applicable plan review fees and permit fees shall be paid in full prior to the issuance of permits per HCC Chapter 5, Article 7.

  • Residential Building Permits applied prior to Oct. 1, 2021, by owner-builders wishing to transfer to
    contractor are not eligible for this expedited review.
  • Residential Building Permits applied prior to Oct. 1, 2021, by licensed contractors that have been
    returned for corrections are not eligible for this expedited review.
  • Residential Building Permits issued through this expedited process and subsequently transferred to the
    owner-builder will result in a suspension of the permit until completing a standard review.
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“Our administration is committed to working through the backlog, getting homes built, and getting people back to work,” Roth said. “We have heard the concerns and understand that livelihoods are at stake.”

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As stated in Hawai´i County Code Section 5-5-1(d), The issuance of a permit shall not prevent the authority having jurisdiction from thereafter: (1) Requiring the correction of errors in the plans and specifications; (2) Revoking or suspending any permit when issued in error, on the basis of incorrect information supplied, or in violation of the construction code, any permit or variance issued pursuant to the construction code, or other applicable law; (3) Halting building operations when in violation of the construction code, any permit or variance issued pursuant to the construction code, or other applicable law; (4) Preventing occupancy or use of a structure, when violations of the construction code, any permit or variance issued pursuant to the construction code, or other applicable law have occurred; or (5) Initiating criminal enforcement and the imposition of penalties or fees, or both, when authorized by the construction code or other applicable law.

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