Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Work on home did
not need building permit

Question: Where do you call to report construction, electrical and plumbing work being done with no permit in sight? I have noticed work being done on a home in our Pearl City neighborhood -- an addition to the back, extension on the side and some pretty obvious electrical and plumbing work, but no permit was posted.

I called the city's permit status hot line (527-5777), but nothing on the phone menu seemed to apply. I tried the permit records information number (523-4414) and was told to call and leave a message. I did that, but the construction continues and a fence went up. Don't we need permits anymore? The "House Detective" article in the April 6 Star-Bulletin indicated we can't just do anything to our homes whenever we feel like it. There are rules and regulations for some pretty good reasons.

Answer: The number to call if you have a question about whether a permit has been issued for a building project is 523-4505.

There was a lot of work going on at the address you cited, but most of it did not require a permit, according to city officials.

However, the owner did not have a required permit for a chain-link fence being built atop a rock wall, so a notice of violation was issued, said Angel Barcelo, senior building inspector for the Pearl City area for the city Department of Planning & Permitting.

He added that there was no sign of an addition being built. Kitchen cabinets were being replaced, and the exterior of the house was being repainted. None of that required a permit, Barcelo said.

Barcelo also said that he could find no record or your call, but that the message could have gotten lost because inspectors are often out in the field.


Regarding the "mahalo" in the April 15 "Kokua Line" to Grace Pacific Corp. for its work resurfacing Nuuanu Avenue: The writer did not see the mess that the company left in the Pauoa offramp loop from Pali Highway. I'm looking at piles of asphalt, traffic cones, a whole lot of junk. Equipment has been left for more than a year and a half, beginning when they did their work on Pauoa Road/Lusitana Street. The writer only saw the good part of it. I'm looking at the mess that's left. -- J.C.

Tim Steinberger, director of the city Department of Design and Construction, confirmed that Grace Pacific had used the Pali Highway ramp loop to Pauoa Road as a staging area for construction.

The construction materials and equipment have since been removed, and Grace Pacific is planning to restore the grass area "soon," he said.


To the city planning and permit section and the traffic engineering section for their prompt and efficient work. On April 22, I went to the municipal building to report an illegal commercial sign that was planted on a city sidewalk. The planning and permit section was closed for the day, but two people in the traffic engineering section kindly offered to take a message for them. Less than 24 hours later, the offending sign had been moved. -- J.S.


Useful phone numbers

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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