Commentary: Ross Armetta on Bill 270

Hi Damon,

I don’t know if you have been following the Bill 270. The Big day for this Bill is likely 10-5 the next council meeting. In a nutshell, it is very unsustainable, un-green, expensive, and can make anyone a criminal for ANY violation of the building code.

The law is so vague and undefined that even a squeaky gate could trigger that. Got a pool of any sort over 18″ that’s um-permitted ? You could be thrown in jail. This is not vague conjecture. I have heard directly from a top official they are going to start going after un-permitted homes and un-permitted additions even without complaints.

Section 5-61. Criminal prosecution.

(a) General Provisions. Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this code shall be deemed guilty of a petty misdemeanor, and each such person shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each and every day or portion thereof during which any violation of any provisions of this code is committed, continued or permitted; and upon conviction of any such violation, such person shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or by both fine and imprisonment.

Brittany Smart is making some effort to help us on this.

I have made a website and we have several cooperating organizations we are working with including the Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance and the Stakeholders group.

As you probably know there are a lot of older people retiring without a lot of money, and younger people starting out.  The new hurricane rooms, much stricter standards, and additional requirements are going to driver more people to be unpermitted: they can not get the financing and afford the newer standards (about another 7-18,000 additional). 

Any article or help you can give us on this would be greatly appreciated.

I also have plenty of letters that I have written about this (some of them on the site ) please feel free to use as you wish.  I hope also to be updating the website later today with the additional county communications regarding this and more information.

I you have any other questions or interest on this please let me know vie email or call me.

Best wishes and A hui-hou,

Ross Armetta

Councilmember Brittany Smart on the Upcoming Workshops on Proposed Building Code Changes

Council Member Brittany Smart

Council Member Brittany Smart

Aloha Friends,

Here is information on a few upcoming workshops on the proposed building code changes:

County staff from the Building Department will explain and clarify proposed changes to the Hawai`i County Building Code at two workshops next month.

Bill 270, Draft 3, would change the Building Code by adopting the 2006 International Building Code (2006 IBC), along with a number of state and county amendments.

The county is required by state law to adopt a building code using model codes and standards, such as the 2006 IBC, no later than two years after the adoption of the state building code.  The state building code was adopted in 2010, and adoption of Bill 270 will bring the county into compliance with the state law.

The workshops will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center, Community Meeting Hale  in Kailua-Kona from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; and on Wednesday Sept. 7 at the Aupuni Center Conference Room in Hilo from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.


To view a copy of Bill 270, Draft 3, go to

To view a copy of the current Hawaii County Code, Chapter 5, relating to building, go to

To view a free copy of the International Code go to  and

Office of Hawai’i County Councilmember Brittany Smart
District 6 – Upper Puna, Ka’u, South Kona
25 Aupuni Street
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 961-8536