KONA, Hawaii: The Hawaii County Council voted to pass three new county code bills on Friday, one of which was a controversial new building code that has been heavily scrutinized by the public, building trades, and officials alike.
The new code has been a tough sell to some members of the public, who balked at the mention of “safe rooms”, rules interpreted to mandate insulation and concerns over building permit transfers.
After hours of testimony and discussion, the council voted to pass Bill 268 enacting the 2008 National Electrical Code, Bill 269 adopting the 2006 Uniform Plumbing Code, and the hotly debated Bill 270, adopting the 2006 International Building Code.
The codes replace guidelines from 1983.
After numerous public meetings about the proposed code, there was still concern on the part of some that the code will increase the costs of building a home, making construction less affordable. No cost analysis was provided, however, and an attempt to delay the vote so that stake holders could do the analysis was defeated.
In this video, South Kona councilwoman Brenda Ford asks Public Works director Warren Lee to explain some of the commonly misunderstood areas of concern with the new code.
Bill 270 passed with a 5 votes for and 4 votes against.