Tag Archives: Choon James

Hawaii turns into autocratic China

Governor Josh Green’s “Emergency Proclamation” (EP) for “Affordable Housing” is getting more alarming.

Basic protections like the Sunshine Law and Public Participation are suspended in the name of “affordable housing crisis”, to expedite development processes and alleviate the state’s acute shortage of housing units. The EP is good for twelve months. Then what?

Here is the fine print of the Emergency Proclamation.

The “Emergency Proclamation” was signed by Hawaii’s Governor Josh Green on July 17, 2023 in the name of providing “affordable” housing.
The Chief Housing Officer (LHO) is the Central Party – the EP allows the LHO to make decisions “without being certified by the Build Beyond Barriers Working Group”.

Here is a copy of Hawaii Sierra Club Director Wayne Chung Tanaka’s observations of the first “Build Beyond Barriers” meeting at the Hawaii State Capitol in August 2023.

” Takeaways:

The “Build Beyond Barriers Working Group” Chair, Nani Medeiros, unilaterally suspended ALL PROVISIONS of the Sunshine Law, despite having no justification to do so. Meeting facilitator Scott Glenn and developer consultant Trisha Watson actively sought to suppress any discussion about the illegal, non-transparent nature of the Working Group’s first meeting.

Earthjustice attorney David Henkin was ejected from physically observing the meeting even after being told he could attend as a member of the public, and had the sheriffs called on him by the Governor’s deputy general counsel Jeremy Lakin.

Because there was only one microphone for a room of 30-plus participants, the Facebook livestream of the meeting was largely inaudible.

Nani Medeiros confirmed that she, as the “Lead Housing Officer,” had authority to approve any project that received any state or county waiver or exemption, or that used any state or county financing, funds, or lands. Such projects would be eligible to proceed without complying with the laws suspended by the proclamation – and without any Working Group approval, review, or notification.

“In a democracy, the people are vested with the ultimate decision-making power. Governmental agencies exist to aid the people in the formation and conduct of public policy. Opening up the governmental processes to public scrutiny and participation is the only viable and reasonable method of protecting the public’s interest.” – HRS Chapter 92 (a.k.a. the “Sunshine Law”)

The first “Build Beyond Barriers Working Group” meeting was held on Friday, and the situation with the Governor’s emergency housing proclamation is far, far worse than I had thought. While there was scarcely time for questions during a meeting largely taken up by performative introductions, Working Group leadership made clear that they had no regard for transparency or the law – even as described in the proclamation itself. Previously, I had written my concerns to Working Group chair Nani Medeiros, regarding the apparent suspension of the Sunshine Law. I had observed that the meeting had not been posted to the state calendar with the required six days’ notice.

Nani confirmed that she had decided to unilaterally suspend the notice requirement of the Sunshine Law. Her excuse pointed to logistical issues that needed to be resolved first – namely, coordinating flights for neighbor island working group members and members of the island burial councils (only one burial council member, from Molokaʻi, would end up attending – via Zoom), and finding table microphones so that “sound distribution is strong for participants and observers.”

Nani wrote that she was “committed to making these meetings accessible to the public, even if it means personally investing in equipment” (emphasis added), and promised that the meeting would be posted on the state calendar once all the details were set.

The meeting was never posted on the state calendar, and the information sent to news media for the public to observe the meeting online had the wrong time. When Working Group members arrived at the Governor’s conference room Friday morning, there was only one microphone, tethered to a conference phone by a cord not much longer than six feet, to be shared by some thirty-odd people.

Needless to say, the meeting was largely inaudible to the Facebook Live viewers who were able to find the correct link.Before the Working Group meeting began, a member of the public who wished to quietly observe in person – environmental attorney David Henkin, no less – was ejected by the Governor’s deputy general counsel, Jeremy Lakin. Jeremy even went so far as to call the state sheriffs, rather than contemplate the legality of his action.

Apparently, the public observation provisions of the Sunshine Law had also been suspended for this meeting, in addition to its public notice requirements. Public input requirements were obviously also suspended.

I immediately attempted to ask for clarity about what provisions of the Sunshine Law had been suspended, since the emergency proclamation itself only allows for the suspension of provisions of the Sunshine Law to the extent needed for “expeditious action, decision, or approval.” Posting notice on the state calendar, and allowing a member of the public to quietly observe in person – both requirements of the Sunshine Law – would not delay any conceivable actions, decisionmaking, or approvals.

(In fact, it turned out there also was no action, decisionmaking, or approval whatsoever during the meeting that would justify any Sunshine Law suspension under the proclamation, despite Nani’s prior written (and false) statement that there would be “important decision-making processes taking place.”)

Unfortunately, vice chair Scott Glenn clearly did not want me to raise these concerns, and asked that I hold my question until the end of the meeting.

During our “introductions,” I again warned the group that violating the Sunshine Law was a Big Deal and an invitation for lawsuits, and was met with blank stares. Scott said there would be time to address my concerns after introductions were complete.

Eventually, during the few minutes we had for questions, I was told that the Sunshine Law had been suspended in its entirety. When I questioned how that could be, given the language of the proclamation, developer consultant and Working Group member Trisha Watson cut me off. She said my concerns about legal compliance should be tabled, and that she had “real questions.” No one objected.

The Working Group leadership’s flippant disregard of both the law and the critical importance of public transparency was simply astounding. These are the people we, the public, are being asked to trust with the future of our islands.

In response to the only other question I was allowed to raise, Nani also confirmed that she, the lead housing officer, had unilateral authority to bypass the Working Group completely, and approve any project that received any state or county exemption or waiver, or used any state or county lands, funds, or financing. She also made clear she was under no obligation to even inform the Working Group of any such approvals.

Yes, this is real life. And incredibly, the Working Group Chair’s willingness to disregard the law, eschew transparency, and repeatedly lie – in writing, no less – makes clear that this emergency proclamation and the people in charge of it are even more dangerous than I had previously worried.

Friends, the future of our islands – our cherished landscapes, our cultural foundations, our social fabric, and even our housing crisis itself – may be harmed irrevocably by a proclamation that puts unprecedented power in the hands of a few individuals. These individuals have already shown that they will not – or cannot – even coordinate a single introductory meeting in compliance with the proclamation itself. We are now being asked to let these same people administer and enforce an initiative involving tens of thousands of un-affordable housing units across hundreds or potentially thousands of acres of land, throughout the islands.

Even with the best intentions, developers will surely run circles around this Working Group’s leadership, to the benefit of corporate profit margins, and the detriment of all that makes Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i.”

This acrobatic tragedy reminds me of a childhood experience in Singapore

The husband-and-wife acrobatic team somehow disconnected during their performance in Suzhou, China. The plunge led to her death.

According to the Straits Times,

” Authorities are investigating the death of an acrobat, who fell while performing with her husband during a live flying-trapeze performance in Suzhou, China, last Saturday.

Videos of the graphic incident posted on social media showed that the couple was pulled high into the air from the ground by what appears to be a crane.

In the videos, the woman was later seen falling from reportedly more than 9m high, after her husband failed to catch her with his legs during the performance.”

This incident brought back childhood memories of a circus coming to Holland Village in Singapore. I was probably around 7 or 8 years old. We were living in a farm. I remember my lorry-driver father telling us that there was a tent circus coming. We obviously wanted to go but had no money to buy tickets for our big family of ten children.

Later, I remember my father coming home one night with the news that a girl acrobat had fallen to her death from a trapeze.

That news had a powerful imprint on me.

I can’t explain why I was so unequivocal about it. But I decided right there and then that it was not right for people with money to put others in dangerous situations just to entertain themselves.

Bill 106 threatens private property owners

This is a reprint from the Star Advertiser published February 15, 2023. The limit for Star Advertiser was 600 words. For educational purposes, we’re adding more info through links and photos.


Column: Bill threatens private property owners

  • By Choon James and Natalie Iwasa
  • Today 
  • Updated 7:19 pm

As part of the 2022 county package to state legislators, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi requested “nonjudicial foreclosure” powers, i.e., the power to seize private property without going to court. Fortunately, House Bill 1434 did not pass last year.

This year’s package includes another request for “nonjudicial foreclosure,” aka “power of sale.” 2023 HB 106 BELOW represents an alarming threat to property owners and is prevalent in totalitarian regimes.

This year’s HB 106 offers weak assurance that “a county may, after all notices, orders, and appeal proceedings are exhausted, satisfy all unpaid civil fines through the power of sale on the real property subject to a recorded lien.”

Unfortunately, our years of civic participation at Honolulu Hale show that due process has not always been fair and equitable to ordinary residents.

Furthermore, recent federal indictments and guilty pleas continue to show the troubled Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) has no consistent record of fair play or efficient management. Written testimonies reveal alarming threats toward private property rights.

Dawn Takeuchi Apana, DPP director designate, stated: “Specifically, this bill would authorize the city to bring closure to pending civil fines imposed on landowners who are in violation of the city’s land use ordinances and building codes, through a nonjudicial or administrative process.”

Honolulu City Councilman Calvin Say also submitted testimony for a quicker seizure: “Our city corporation counsel is currently able to initiate a Judicial Foreclosure process, which has been successful in similar instances, however this is a long process that takes valuable resources away from other pressing legal matters.”

In other words, give us the authorization to hurry it up by bypassing the regular court method of foreclosure.

The House Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs, whose members include Chairman David Tarnas and Vice Chair Gregg Takayama, approved HB 106 on Jan. 31. Its report states in part:

“Your committee finds that authorizing the counties to collect on liens filed on properties through a nonjudicial foreclosure process provides some leverage over property owners to comply or lose their property. If a property owner fails to comply and the property is foreclosed upon, this measure would enable the property to be put to productive use, allow liens attached to the property to be satisfied, and stop the accrual of additional debt or taxes on the property.”

Chairman David Tarnas and Vice Chair Gregg Takayama, approved HB 106 on Jan. 31. 2023

Hawaii’s state legislators should recognize that most ordinary residents sacrifice and work their tails off to achieve real property ownership. Each county’s goal should be to help property owners comply with the law and correct their violations, not summarily seize their properties.

HB 106 invites corruption and exposes residents, especially those who have fewer financial resources available to them, as easy casualties of this potential power of sale. All Hawaii counties would be affected.

It should be noted the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Feb. 20, 2019 (Timbs vs Indiana), that the Constitution’s ban on excessive fines — civil asset forfeitures are a type of fine — applies to state and local governments, thus limiting their ability to use fines to raise revenue.

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also astutely argued fines could be used to retaliate against political enemies and had been used as a source to raise revenue.

RBG was a tireless and resolute champion of justice.

Hawaii has a few egregious property owners, but this tyrannical bill is not the solution. We urge our legislators to vote “no” on HB 106.


AUTHORS: Natalie Iwasa is a CPA and certified fraud examiner; Choon James is a residential Realtor and farmer. They have spent combined decades of civic participation at Honolulu Hale as community advocates for good governance.


I grew up in Singapore and went to English schools which were under the British system. We had the privilege of learning about great British poets and authors. We all have our favorite. Here is one of mine by Rudyard Kipling.


If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Choon James: Status for SB 1357 to fine motorists with flags.

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that flags flown from vehicles being operated or moved on streets cause distractions and create unsafe driving conditions. The purpose of this Act is to discourage unsafe practices.

This Bill was DEFERRED to Tuesday February 8, 2022 for the 3:05PM AGENDA. SB 1357 to prohibit flags display on vehicles on roads, etc. SCROLL TO 1:30 to hear the status: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Puas70MFA

We can’t have government incrementally shutting down Free Speech and Civic Participation. Although the State Capitol is one of the most ventilated buildings in Honolulu, it’s still closed to the public. The public cannot hold signs inside its meeting places. And now this shutting down of flags flying.

The Senate Transportation Committee Chair Chris Lee said yesterday that the intent of Bill 1357 was not to infringe on First Amendment Rights. The State Department of Transportation (DOT) submitted an unsigned testimony that it had received “numerous complaints and inquiries from the public about flags and other materials that impair the visibility of other drivers on the road. As such, we support all efforts to eliminate these unnecessary distractions.”

I wonder if DOT also received complaints and enquires about other traffic concerns.

Bill 1357 is not compelling enough except to shut down displays of discontent and public dissension. We must protect Free Speech at all costs.

There are lots of distractions and unsafe driving conditions on the road – Loose dogs. Drunk driving. Driving in opposite directions. Tourist trolleys. Huge vehicles blocking our view planes. Sign Waving. Display of huge banners on buildings along roads and so on.

The item that is most distracting and affecting road safety is the POTHOLES!!

We’re forced to keep our eyes down on the road to avoid the potholes which are EVERYWHERE. Our tires blow out. Cars swerve to try to miss the potholes on busy streets. The underbelly of the vehicles are damaged. POTHOLES are the most dangerous and most distracting.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent but our roads have become more and more dangerous. We would like the Hawaii Senate to focus on this huge distraction. It’s time to require a warranty on the road roadwork and so on to promote road safety.

It’s ridiculous that every time it rains, more potholes appear. There is no reason why the state cannot expect basic workmanship for the hundreds of millions that are spent annually.

Please terminate SB 1357 – It’s treacherous to free speech and an open democracy. Focus on the real traffic safety and driving conditions.

Ushering in the Year of the Tiger

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous NEW YEAR!

I missed January 1, 2022! So this is my second chance to start a “NEW YEAR” resolution to highlight or share issues that affect us. I resolve to write something useful every day on this blog!

So much have happened since the advent of COVID19 in 2020. Here we are on February 1st, 2022 and we’re still struggling with this pandemic. COVID19 has brought out the worst and the best in humanity.

I will share this testimony below as my first post since I’ve just submitted it to the Hawaii State Legislature. If you feel this is an important issue, please write a quick testimony to let your senators know what you think. We should let them know of our expectations. Click on this SB 1357 to submit a quick testimony.


Aloha Senators:

It’s very obvious that this SB 1357 is created to shut down citizen participation and involvement in Hawaii. There is no quarrel that Democracy can be messy, loud, and unpleasant, especially to authorities who are being resisted against.

Free speech, the freedom to protest, and to assemble with expressions must not be shut down through this thinly-veiled facade of  “ Traffic violations to PROHIBIT display of any material that distracts, obstructs the view of, or affects the safety of other drivers, including but not limited to flags, towels, sheets, and cloths, on vehicles being operated or moved on a public street, road, or highway, except when required to be displayed for loads that extend beyond the vehicle. Sets a fine.”

The public knows this SB 1357 is targeted at the recent displays of protests and discontent amongst many Hawaii residents. The displays of civil discontent have been displayed through banners and flags options that are available to the people. There have been no raids or violence or vandalism.

Instead of trying to shut down citizenship participation and discontent, it would be more democratic and effective to figure out how the government can improve to lessen this growing discontent.  

SB 1357 is too over-bearing and tyrannical. It violates the basic fundamental rights of a citizen to express oneself in a free society. This SB 1357 not only tries to stamp out dissension, it also wants to punish those who participate through their expressions.  

Please defer Bill 1357. It’s over-bearing and tyrannical to say the least. No elected official in the Hawaii State Legislature should think or behave like they are akin to the Community Party of China – to crush and shut down public participation through various means.   


Choon James


Choon James: Kahuku Industrial Turbines Press Conference

Press Conference

November 1, 2019  Friday

We are deeply disappointed that we have received the silent treatment from Governor David Ige at this point.

“The most affected people and the most affected community have been opposing these additional eight (8) industrial turbines for over ten (10) years. The answer to the authorities had always been ‘no’ to the Fortune 500 Corporations, HECO and also those involved in the Environment Review Process.

However, their voices have consistently been ignored and dissed.

Kahuku already has twelve (12) industrial turbines. It is already bearing the disproportionate burden of wind energy.  Its residents have already been suffering the health impacts from these existing turbines.

The PUC action of December 31, 2014 was a blatant violation of Hawaii’s renowned Environmental Laws specifically contained in the HAR Chapter 343. Consultation with the affected community is the first of several elements of public participation in the environmental review process established under Chapter 343.  The centrality of public participation to rational environmental management has long been recognized as good policy, and it is explicitly identified as a founding principle in the legislative findings that preface the EIS law.

§343-1 Findings and purpose.  The legislature finds that the quality of humanity’s environment is critical to humanity’s well being, that humanity’s activities have broad and profound effects upon the interrelations of all components of the environment, and that an environmental review process will integrate the review of environmental concerns with existing planning processes of the State and counties and alert decision makers to significant environmental effects which may result from the implementation of certain actions.  The legislature further finds that the process of reviewing environmental effects is desirable because environmental consciousness is enhanced, cooperation and coordination are encouraged, and public participation during the review process benefits all parties involved and society as a whole.

To further violate the standing environmental laws to the face of the most affected people, the Public Utilities Commission further violated the laws by approving the contract between HECO and then Champlin/GEI in order to assist the corporations in its federal tax incentives deadline.

Recently, a former PUC Counsel revealed that he counseled against the December 31, 2014 decision because the EIS for this project was pending and NOT completed yet.

Furthermore, the Hawaii Consumer Advocate at the time, Jeffrey Ono, also advised for PUC to wait for the environmental review to be completed before approving the wind farm. Mr.Ono’s opinion was that the “EIS could inform a decision on whether the project was in the public interest: specifically whether its benefits outweighed its negative impacts on the community.”

Because of the flawed process, there continues to be controversies. Approximately 200 residents were arrested in resistance to this process.

Keep the North Shore Country has filed a lawsuit challenging the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources’ acceptance of a conservation plan and license to kill certain numbers of endangered Hawaiian hoary bats as an incidental side effect of the project.

Life of the Land’s challenge focuses on the PUC’s approval of the contract between the wind farm and HECO, which the PUC approved.

Governor Ige’s statement by his communications team that “we were told

Despite all the known facts about this flawed process, the AES COO, Mark Miller continues his arrogant and robotic PR answer to all compelling concerns:

“We remain in close touch with people throughout the North Shore community – including those who have lingering questions about our project. We are here and ready to talk to anyone interested in learning more.” But he pushing onward and forward and not taking “no” for an answer.

On October 16, 2019 to the Star Advertiser, “The company planning to build a wind farm in Kahuku “should be allowed to proceed,” Gov. David Ige’s office.  

We call on Governor Ige to take care of his primary kuleana – to put the public interest nor the well being of his constituents’, including the children, interests and well-being. The industrial turbines will be too close to the Kahuku Elementary School, the Kahuku High School, residential homes, hospital and farmer’s dwellings, and also the Bobby Benson Center.

What are residents supposed to do if the very government regulatory agencies that must protect the process and the public interest violated its very laws and rules on the books?

When residents exercise their desperate protests to be heard, they are met with the strong force of the HPD and arrests.

We call on Governor Ige to implement pono leadership on these irreparable damages being done to his constituents today.

1. To allow the citizen’s various legal pending processes to be heard before allowing further deliveries to the sites.

2, to direct the Attorney General to expunge the approx.127 arrests made thus far. The people were simply trying to be heard because the very agencies that are supposed to protect them broke its own laws and regulations.

Hawaii has one of the best environmental laws in the nation. If all state and county agencies had adhered to the laws in the books, these acrimonious and actions could have been easily avoided.

Kahuku residents cannot continue to be guinea pigs. Green Energy is important for our island home but environment justice and social justice must integral parts of this movement.



NOTE: HAR 11-200-9(C) requires agencies proposing an action to analyze alternatives to the nominal project proposal in the environmental assessment.  

Consideration of alternatives is a core element of the environmental planning process and offers one of the key tools available to achieve the purpose of environmental impact minimization.  The OEQC Guidebook includes specific instructions regarding the discussion of alternatives.

Consider alternative methods and modes of your project, and discuss them in the draft EA.  Select the one with the least detrimental effect to the environment.  Alternatives to consider include:

•  Different sites:  is one site less likely to infringe on an environment       that needs protection, such as a wetlands or an historic district?

•  Different facility configurations:  is one configuration less likely to intrude on scenic viewplanes?

•  Different implementation methods:  can a rocky area be cleared by backhoe removal rather than blasting?

Alternative analysis should include input from the community.  Community members may be aware of concerns and impacts that make a particular alternative more or less desirable. [OEQC Guidebook, p.15]

The Guidebook also offers insight into what’s expected in an EA in the way of alternatives analysis in its discussion of questions to ask when reviewing an EA.

Are alternatives to the proposed project (including no project at all) adequately explored? Are there other ways to carry out the project which may be less damaging to the environment? Are different designs or approaches discussed sufficiently? What basic improvements can you suggest? [OEQC Guidebook, p.9]                 

Thus, alternatives to discuss include not just the no action case, but also actions of a significantly different nature that would provide similar benefits with different minimal impacts, different designs or project details, different locations, different facility configurations, and even the alternative of postponing an action pending development of a more viable proposal.


  The City and County of Honolulu City Council adopted Bill 89 and Bill 85 on June 17, 2019 after many long and contentious hearings.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bill 89 into law on June 25, 2019. On July 3, the City Council chose not to address Bill 85 Veto.

Here is the information provided by the Department of Planning and Permitting:

 June 21, 2019

City Department of Planning and Permitting

New Regulations on Short-Term Rentals

Bill 89 CD2 was adopted by City Council on Monday, June 17. It is awaiting action by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Its main points:

 _Allows a limited number of new Bed and Breakfast Homes (B&B) in non-resort areas under a new registration process, with annual renewal required.

 _Continues to prohibit Transient Vacation Units, or “unhosted” rentals, in non-resort areas, unless the dwelling has a Nonconforming Use Certificate (NUC).

 _Regulates hosting platforms, such as Expedia or Airbnb, requiring monthly reports to be filed with the Department of Planning and Permitting, which will share the information with City Council.

 _Makes illegal any form of advertising short-term rentals which are not in compliance with zoning regulations as provided in Bill 89. Bill 89 CD2: http://bit.ly/2Kt9Qu9

The following Questions and Answers are based on the assumption that Bill 89 CD2 will shortly be enacted into law.


I own an unhosted, “whole house,” or Transient Vacation Unit. I pay taxes. Can I continue to advertise online and in the local newspaper?

Only if the dwelling has a NUC or is located in a resort district.

When will the department start enforcing the new advertising restrictions?

Beginning August 1, 2019.

What are the fines for illegal advertising?

Owners of the property involved in illegal advertising will be notified, and if the advertisement is taken down in 7 days, no fine will be imposed for a first offense. If not taken down within this deadline, fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 can be imposed for each day the advertisement remains on display.

If the management company for my property places an illegal ad, will the company get cited?

They may be cited, but Bill 89 CD2 says, “The burden of proof is on the owner of the subject real property to establish that the property is not being used as a bed and breakfast home or transient vacation unit or that the advertisement was placed without the property owner’s knowledge or consent.”


I have been operating a Bed and Breakfast Home for several years. Do I still have to obtain a registration number?

Yes, unless you have a NUC.

I only rent out my house for more than 30 days at a time. Do I need to register?


I only rent my house while my family spends 2 weeks each year visiting family on the mainland. Do I need to register? When can I register?

Registration will begin no sooner than October 1, 2020.

Why do we have to wait more than year to register?

The time is required for the Department to develop more specific procedures for implementing Bill 89 CD2, including the adoption of rules, and creating the software to help with enforcement and the registration process. If necessary, it provides time to acquire more staff and to train them.

What are the registration requirements?

There are more than a dozen requirements. Most notable:

 _Applicants must be “natural persons,” and not an organization or company

 _Applicants must have a home exemption granted under real property tax law

 _There must be insurance coverage for bed and breakfast use

 _The initial registration fee is $1,000. For annual renewals, the fee is $2,000

 _No more than 2 bedrooms can be used for visitor accommodations

 _Quiet hours must be observed between 10 pm and 8 am

 _If part of a homeowners or apartment owners association, approval by that association must be obtained

 _Neighbors within 250 feet must be given a phone number to contact to make complaints 24 hours a day

For the complete list of requirements, refer to Bill 89 CD2: http://bit.ly/2Kt9Qu9 3

Are there other requirements?

Density Limit. No more than 0.5% of the total number of dwelling units in each regional development plan area (DPA) can be used as B&Bs. Here are the limits by area:

New B&Bs are not allowed in the North Shore area, based on directives of the North Shore Sustainable Communities Plan: http://bit.ly/2Y4QpLg

Condominium Limit. Up to 50% of units in a condominium building may be allowed a B&B, subject to AOAO approval.

Nontransferable. Registration numbers are not transferable to another property, nor transferable to another homeowner.

Separation Minimum. B&Bs must be at least 1,000 feet from each other. This does not apply to units in resort areas and NUCs.

Renewal Criteria. Noise and other nuisance complaints can be grounds to deny renewal requests.

For the complete list of requirements, refer to Bill 89 CD2: http://bit.ly/2Kt9Qu9

How long will it take to get registered?

It is not yet determined. An online registration process is anticipated, but certain requirements will have to be verified; e.g. compliance with parking requirements.

If only a limited number of registration numbers will be given out, how can I guarantee to get one?

There is no provision for guarantees.

How will it be determined who gets a registration number?

Generally on first-come, first-served basis. If the number of requests exceeds the limit for a DPA, then a lottery will be held.

How will the lottery system work?

This will be fleshed out in the Rules. There will be a public hearing on the draft Rules before they are finalized.

I am currently operating a B&B, and do not have a NUC, so will need to register. Will I get priority in the registration process?


Can I advertise and operate a short-term rental once I register?

No. To avoid a citation, operation cannot occur until the registration process has been completed and registration number issued.


Note that DPP has not mentioned about the property tax designation to “Resort”.  It’s unclear whether it would be based only on the two bedrooms of a home.

Refer to the Department’s website:honoluludpp.org

Email the Department:info@honoluludpp.org

Call the Department:

Advertising Restrictions: 768-8127

Registration Process: 768-8127

General Zoning Information: 768-8252

Make a complaint: 768-8127

Public Information Officer: 768-8284

Choon James has been a real estate broker for over 30 years. She can be reached at 808 293 8888 ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com 

Daniel James has been a Real Estate Associate for 5 years. He can be reached at 808 542- 5165 http://www.HawaiiRealEstateOhana.com

Choon James: Citizen Candidate For Honolulu City Council

Name on ballot: JAMES, Choon
Running for: Honolulu City Council
District (if applicable):District 2
Political party: Nonpartisan
Campaign website: www.VoteChoon.com
Current occupation: Real Estate Broker
Age: 61
Previous job history: College Instructor
Previous elected office, if any: Community Associations.

Community organizations/prior offices held

Chair, Defend Oahu Coalition – Keep The Country Country; president, BYU-Hawaii Alumni Association; president, Laie Point Community Association; board member, Laie Community Association; founding member, Kahuku Hospital Board, Save Oahu Farmlands Alliance; member, Honolulu Board of Realtors; producer, Olelo Community Media; member, Hawaii Thousand Friends; member, Sierra Club; member, Ko’olauloa Sustainable Communities Advisory Planning Committee; member, Amnesty International; member, Friends of South Pass City; member, Relief Society Women’s Organization; merit badge counselor, Aloha Council BSA.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I’m a citizen candidate. I do not accept donations from lobbyists or corporations. I owe nobody favors or fear except to work with you residents to improve some basic challenges facing us.

I have severe concerns about the direction that Honolulu is heading. We cannot continue to fund the runaway Honolulu Rail without firm fiscal scrutiny and accountability. I’m volunteering myself as an able and trained alternative to “business as usual” politics.

You can rely on my decades-old record of activism and advocacy. I have been consistent. I maintain a world-view outlook. But I also recognize that we live on a small island.

Additionally, my profession as a real estate broker allows me to work with people from all walks of life and status. We treat every client with care and respect. Should there be a challenge, we quickly and methodically address them with all parties and professionals concerned and find solutions to the benefit of all.

I have great confidence we can tackle Oahu’s challenges together! It doesn’t matter if we’re young or old, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican, military or civilian, unionized or not – – we all have the same dreams for ourselves and our children. We can be fair and reasonable in decision-making; we can all win! There are solutions to the challenges on our island home.

You the residents have valuable local knowledge and wisdom to share. Many of us also have international experience, professionally combed the world, and gained insights and expertise. Collectively, we can improve our island home! Let’s put YOUR smarts, imagination, expertise, common sense, and aloha together to improve our lives and communities.

Let’s gang up for the public good! I humbly ask for YOUR vote.

Choon James

808 293 8888 text




Choon James: Alternative to Status Quo

Name on ballot: JAMES, Choon
Running for: Honolulu City Council
District (if applicable):District 2
Political party: Nonpartisan
Campaign website: www.VoteChoon.com
Current occupation: Real Estate Broker
Age: 61
Previous job history: College Instructor
Previous elected office, if any: Community Associations

Community organizations/prior offices held

Chair, Defend Oahu Coalition – Keep The Country Country; president, BYU-Hawaii Alumni Association; president, Laie Point Community Association; board member, Laie Community Association; founding member, Kahuku Hospital Board, Save Oahu Farmlands Alliance; member, Honolulu Board of Realtors; producer, Olelo Community Media; member, Hawaii Thousand Friends; member, Sierra Club; member, Ko’olauloa Sustainable Communities Advisory Planning Committee; member, Amnesty International; member, Friends of South Pass City; member, Relief Society Women’s Organization; merit badge counselor, Aloha Council BSA.
What are the top three challenges facing the voters you seek to represent?

District 2 is the most diversified and largest land area in the City Council. We span rural communities from Kahalu’u to Wahiawa to an award-winning planned community in Mililani Mauka. We have wonderful residents!

1. Costs of Living & Housing – Hawaii is such a beautiful place with a stable political environment that does not discriminate real estate ownership; our local residents have to compete with international investors for real estate holdings. Increased property values and property taxes outpace many residents’ fixed social security and income. Our residents are feeling priced out on so many different levels.

Many work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet and sustain themselves. Our young people have to resort to exchange babysitting in parking lots on the way to work! Kupuna are worried about sustaining themselves in their golden years and passing on the family home to their children.

Most of us work very hard to make a living.

The government must deliberate carefully before imposing escalating fees and taxes on our people. Residents are not eternal money trees.

2. Quality of Life Ko’olauloa and North Shore is the Oahu’s golden goose for tourism. While residents are welcoming, the quality of life must be considered. Residents are overwhelmed by the increased amount of tourists. Tourism’ multiplier impacts on our infrastructure and public space are real. Traffic is a constant aggravation. The one hundred- year-old Kamehameha Highway, parks, other finite natural resources and other municipal services have to be considered into policy-making and deliberations .

3. Economic Opportunities This cash economy is leaving many of our residents behind. Homelessness is on the rise in our District. We have homeless camping in the streets, mountains, and other public places. This is not good for them and not good for the public. The world is changing. Jobs that are here today will not be here tomorrow.

Fortunately, we have very successful residents who are willing to help and share. As a city councilwoman for my District, I will also focus on this area – to help our residents explore start-ups, resources, education and options to lift ourselves and our families to the countless opportunities out there for economic gain.


Let’s gang up for the public good! I humbly ask for YOUR vote.

Choon James

808 293 8888 text