Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Space is a factor in
people per household

Question: How many families are allowed to live in one house? There is a house where four families are living. How many cars can park on the street? Doesn't a homeowner have to provide parking for the tenants? How do we report car repair business in a residential area?

Answer: If you have a question or complaint about the number of people living in a home, call the city's Department of Land Utilization at 523-4131.

Up to five unrelated people may live in a dwelling, but there is no restriction on the number of people in a family who can live together, so long as there is enough space, according to William Deering, head of the city's Housing Code Section.

A family is defined as people related by blood, marriage or adoption. Up to three unrelated people, plus a family, can inhabit the same dwelling.

However, "space comes into play" regarding the number of family members who can all live together, Deering said. For example, he said, the minimum size of a bedroom is 70 square feet. Two people can occupy that room. For each additional person, you need 50 square feet.

That means for three people you are required to have 120 square feet. So, Deering said, if you have three bedrooms -- one 70 square feet, and the other two 120 square feet each -- you are allowed eight residents.

You can also count the space of the living room -- or any room that meets window and ceiling height requirements, as long as it's not a bathroom, kitchen or closet, Deering said.

It's a different matter if the occupants are unrelated. In that case you can have 20 bedrooms, but only a maximum of five people are allowed to occupy the dwelling.

In regards to parking spaces, the city requires two spaces per dwelling. If other activities are going on, you may have to have more spaces, but in general, for a residential dwelling, it's two spaces, Deering said.

There is no restriction on the number of cars you can park on a public street so long as the cars are parked legally. If you have complaints about on-street parking, call police at 911. Regarding a car repair business in a residential area, call the Housing Code Section at 527-6308.

The city does not allow auto repair and/or painting as a home occupation.

However, household members may repair and paint their own vehicles, "provided that the number of vehicles shall not exceed five per year per dwelling unit."

Q: Does anyone know who makes mochi stone usu or possibly have a stone usu for sale? I would like to continue with the age-old tradition of our heritage of celebrating the New Year and other events the "old-fashioned" way.

A: Apparently, you're out of luck unless your family has one from long ago. We also checked at some probable places, and the word was that no one makes them anymore, and no one knew of any for sale.

However, maybe our readers know of a source. If so, please call 529-4773 with a message.

Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
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