Building Division's Mission Statement:
Protecting the health and safety of our Big Island ʻOhana with honor and integrity.
This is accomplished by ensuring construction projects are designed and constructed in a safe manner as governed by our Building Code via the permit issuance and inspection process.
By enforcing the Building Code through the issuance of notice of violation(s) when building code violations are discovered.
Building inspectors don't have a "quota" to meet in issuing violations. Instead, Building Division responds to citizen concerns or reports of potential violations/safety hazards of both commercial and private construction projects. A complaint/code investigation is initiated in response to the receipt of an information & complaint form. A code enforcement case may also be initiated when an inspector notices a safety hazard while conducting scheduled inspections.
Appeal Options to a Code Violation
If strict application of any provision of the building code would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship depriving the owner of reasonable use of land or building involved, the owner may petition the board of appeals for a variance. The board of appeals may grant the variance if all of the following are present:
- Special circumstances or conditions apply to the land or building that do not apply generally to lands or buildings in the neighborhood
- Variance is found to be necessary for the reasonable use of the land or building
- Granting of the variance will be consistent with the intent and purpose of the code
For more information, refer to Section 5-65 of Hawaiʻi County Code.
In considering an appeal the board may require reasonable tests of the alternative materials, methods of construction, etc. paid for by the appellant. The board may reverse the decision of a violation if all of the following are found:
- The new or alternative materials, methods of construction, equipment, etc. meet standards established by the building code
- Permitting the requested use will not jeopardize the safety of persons or property
- Requested use will not be contrary to the intent and purpose of the building code
For more information, refer to Section 5-66 of Hawaiʻi County Code.
The board may also reverse the decision of a violation if the decision is:
- In violation of the building code or other applicable law
- Clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence or
- Is deemed to be an abuse or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.
For more information, refer to Section 5-67 of Hawaiʻi County Code.
If an Appeals Hearing is requested, an Appeals Hearing is then scheduled and conducted regarding the violation.
If during the hearing it is decided that a violation exists, the hearing board will schedule a follow up inspection to ensure the violation has been resolved.
If the violation is still discovered in the scheduled inspection, the code enforcement case then goes to the County's Attorney for Judicial Enforcement of Order (5-60(d)) or Penal Enforcement (5-61). (2012, Ord. No. 12-27, sec. 2.)
For more information, refer to Section 5-53 of Hawaiʻi County Code.
- Chapter 5 Building (PDF)
- Chapter 9 Electricity (PDF)
- Chapter 17 Plumbing (PDF)
- Chapter 3 Signs (PDF)