Under Revised Ordinances of Honolulu (ROH) § 21-9.100, “the use of neighborhood TOD plans shall be the preferred way to create TOD development regulations for each TOD zone.” However, creating neighborhood TOD plans is a lengthy process. While the City has made significant progress on these plans, only the Waipahu station area plan has been completed and is ready for a TOD zoning proposal for City Council consideration and approval.
Recognizing that some developers are ready to start planning and investing in TOD and the potential community benefits these investments can provide, the City and County of Honolulu created the Interim Planned Development-Transit (IPD-T) permit under Ordinance 14-10. Established on June 20, 2014, the IPD-T permitting process allows “TOD projects prior to the adoption and implementation of the individual neighborhood TOD plans and TOD development regulations.”
Under the Ordinance, “[q]ualifying proiects must demonstrably exhibit those kinds of attributes that are capable of promoting highly effective transit-enhanced neighborhoods, including diverse employment opportunities, an appropriate mix of housing types, support for multi-modal circulation, and well-designed publicly accessible and useable spaces.”
The good and the bad of the IPD-T permitting process is that it is very flexible. It allows the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) and the City Council broad discretion over proposed projects. However, with the right mix of public amenities and community benefits, projects can take advantage of such things as greater heights, greater density, and less parking requirements.
The IPD-T permitting process is modeled after the planned development permit process in the Waikiki Special District. The process includes appearing before a neighbor board, filing an application with DPP, conducting a public hearing, submitting a DPP approved conceptual plan to the City Council for consideration and approval, and finally acquiring the IPD-T permit from DPP.
The IPD-T process may be a good fit for developers who desire early entry into the TOD market to avoid future increases in property value around the proposed rail stations.