Archive | Legislation

Accessory Dwelling Units: New City and County of Honolulu Ordinance 15-41 Not Allowed in WLF

On September 14, 2015 Mayor Caldwell sign into law Bill 20 (2015), CD1:

To amend chapter 21, revised ordinances of Honolulu 1990, as amended (The land use ordinance), relating to accessory dwelling units (ADUs). The purpose of this ordinance is to establish ADUs as a permitted use in all residential zoning districts, to encourage and accommodate the construction of ADUs, increase the number of affordable rental units and alleviate the housing shortage in the City, and to establish land use standards for those ADUs.

Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view, the West Loch Fairways DCC&Rs do not allow the membership to add an ADU to their property, as noted below:

Article III Section 3.02 Residential Lots: Uses and Restrictions (a) Subject to subsection 3.02(ii) below, only one Family (including domestic servants and transient guests) shall occupy each Lot, and each Owner shall construct only one detached or duplex single-family Residence (which may include a guest room without a kitchen connected to the main dwelling) on any Lot designated for single-family residential purposes.

The September  20, 2015 edition of the Honolulu Star Advertiser included an ADU Q&A  article: Accessory dwelling units zero in on housing woes, by Andrew Gomes, which answers most questions one would have regarding an ADU. Honolulu Star Advertiser’s Kokua Line also provides information in its article  Rules of a homeowners hui override city ADU precepts.

Honolulu City Council BILL 27 Relating to Minimum Real Property Tax

****UPDATE****   At the May 12 ,2015 City Council Budget Meeting Bill 27 was Deferred for Action by the committee. There was opposition by the administration because of unintended consequences. As it is written now, Bill 27 has a much greater reach than what is believed  was originally intended by the advisory board and would significantly raise the property taxes on lower valued properties such as small condominiums and any property valued between $100,000 and $300,000. The Bill is still alive and we will have to wait and see if it will be amended.

The City Council voted to pass the first reading of Bill 27 which amends the minimum real property tax. Bill 27 will raise the minimum real property tax from $300 to $1000. The only exemption allowed would be for organizations that have obtained 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status. The Bill moves on to the Council’s Budget Committee at the May 12, 2015 meeting (Meeting Agenda)

Why do we care?

This legislation stands to have great implications for West loch Fairways. The Association holds the deed to 36 different properties or Tax Map Keys (TMK). Presently the Association’s real property tax for each property is $300/ property or $10,800 annually. If Bill 27 becomes law the Association’s real property tax bill will increase to $36,000. This new obligation will put a real strain on the Association’s operating budget and could force a maintenance dues increase. The Common Areas of West Loch Fairways consist of public access areas, e.g. greenbelts, mini parks, service roads and greenway sidewalks along Fort Weaver and A’awa Drive. These properties are valued at $100 by the City and County of Honolulu and should not be assessed a minimum real property tax of $1000 each as the Association already preforms all the landscape maintenance on these public access areas including maintaining the service roads and guest parking.

What can we do?

Please let City Councilmember Menor and the other Councilmembers know that Bill 27 will cost you money directly. That raising the minimum real property tax by over 300% is excessive and the Council should consider an incremental approach.

We will be updating this post as Bill 27 moves through the process.

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