“Monster home,” known more formally as a "large residential structure," is a term that refers to any home with eight bedrooms or more. While their presence is completely legal, they've been a burgeoning neighborhood and community problem currently throughout some areas of Honolulu. Neighbors new and old are pushing back against them, though—and for good reason. Below, you can take a closer look at the issue and why it's so bad for Hawaii as a whole
The Growing Problem of Monster Homes
Imagine investing your hard-earned time and money into a beautiful Hawaiian property, complete with a view worth every penny. You may spend even more on top of the asking price for top-notch building renovations until you finally have the home of your dreams. Fast forward a bit, and a new construction project is suddenly on its way up next door. That would be absolutely fine in most cases, but this is a monster home. Its 27 bedrooms, 18 baths, and a height of three or more stories now stand between you and your nice ocean view.
It's not just about diminishing the beauty of the surrounding area, though. There are many logistical construction management concerns at play in these projects, including an infrastructure that simply isn't designed for such expansive properties. Traffic, parking, and the overall sense of community take a major hit, and it's all legal as long as no zoning laws and building codes are being violated.
That's where the true mystery of these monster homes comes into play. Whether the home has 10 or 20 rooms, many Honolulu city laws state that only five unrelated people are allowed to reside in a single home. Beyond that, there may be no limit to the number of family members who can live in one home. Whether or not any particular monster home is actually violating the law may be in question, but there are certainly suspicions surrounding them. Some City Council members believe these multi-story buildings may possibly be used for vacation rental operations, or as an apartment building complex. And some of these monster houses have already been flagged for building and zoning code violations.
As long as everything looks good on paper, though, there are no real grounds for fighting back against the issue at hand. But that has been proven not to be the case judging from the recent protests during the City Council hearings.
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