New city audit finds DPP mismanaging monster home permits
A new city audit finds the Department of Planning and Permitting is mismanaging permits on so-called monster homes on Oahu. Other issues mentioned in the 88-page evaluation include the department not investigating complaints from the community and not following-up on violations already issued.
The audit looked at 200 building-permits for 170 homes between 2017 and this past June. The average home on island is 3,000 square-feet and 90-percent of the homes surveyed were bigger than that by up to three times that size.
Recommendations include better coordination and increasing fines for not having permits.
Critics like grassroots group HI good neighbor have been raising concerns for two years. They think it's time for change.
"This was a systemic issue at the department and it's gonna take serious changes to make sure that all the internal processes are followed to make sure that every tee is crossed and eye is dotted because I think that's what the public expects from the department," Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, HI Good Neighbor, said.
DPP claims high staff turnover is a problem affecting its day-to-day operations. But it disagreed with findings like fines for developers on the first day of a violation claiming state law requires a chance to correct problems before fines are imposed.
One architect who designed several monster homes over the past few years believes enforcement slowed down the number of homes popping up but some continue to build.
See the full audit below.