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2 years after Accessory Dwelling Units law passes - little to show

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HONOLULU -

A home in Kahaluu was one of the first batch of permits processed under the Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) program in 2015.

The Roscoe family hoped to have the two-bedroom home rented by now.

Completion has been a moving target as one thing or another, delayed construction.

“We hope to have it rentable and to have tenants in at the end of October. It's 80 percent done," Chris Roscoe, Kahaluu Resident said.

But even Roscoe was surprised that only to date the city program has produced only 67 units.

"I am kind of shocked, I certainly thought there would be more approved," Roscoe said.

Figures provided by the city's department of planning and permitting show that close to 2,000 families took the first step toward building an ADU.

To date, 248 permits have been approved and the city is reviewing another 113.

But it has also rejected 400, close to a fourth of the total amount.

The main reason? The city says is inadequate sewers and roads.

Council chair Ron Menor who wrote the ADU bill tells Island News poor sewers is why many ADU's in Windward Oahu were given the thumbs down. 

“The city needs to do more to give a higher priority to the expansion of the sewer capacity so we can encourage the development and accommodate more of these ADU’s facilities in the future,” Menor said.

Menor wants to extend the waiver on hook-up fees and hopes to find ways to expand the program like using general funds to increase sewage capacity instead of just relying on sewer fees.

Menor and the mayor hoped for better numbers.

The A in ADU may be for anxious.

The Roscoe’s are anxious to get that certificate of occupancy.

After plugging away over the last two years, they are almost there.

"To go from digging the footings on the columns on what was a 10 by 20-foot garage to now having a 800 sq foot house,” Roscoe said.

It will soon to be added to Oahu's rental inventory.

City officials may also be anxious to see the ADU program succeed. Menor believes over time it will deliver.

“This program is absolutely essential," Menor said. 

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