What is an Ohana Dwelling Unit on Oahu?

An Ohana dwelling (similar to an accessory dwelling unit) is a second home permitted on a lot where zoning normally only allows for one. They can generally be built in agricultural, country, and residential zoning districts. (Except R-3.5)

Ohana dwellings may only be occupied by relatives of the family living in the main house, will only be permitted on conforming lots (lots that meet minimum size and dimension requirements for the zoning district), and must be attached to the main house. An Ohana permit is required from the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP).

How to apply for an Ohana dwelling unit:

  1. Check to see if your lot is an Ohana eligible area. You may call the DPP at 808-768-8252, or navigate this map.
  2. Complete the pre-facilities check form from the DPP. This will entail getting signatures from city agencies confirming that the infrastructure can handle additional housing in the area. (water, sewer, roads, etc.)
  3. File a restrictive covenant agreeing to the building conditions, and occupancy requirements. These restrictions “run with the land,” meaning any future owners must adhere to them as well.

For more information on Ohana eligibility and restrictions, consult a real-estate attorney and/or your REALTOR®.

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August 3, 2017

[…] attached to the primary residence. The location is fairly flexible because they are possible in agricultural, country and residential districts, although they are prohibited in areas zoned […]

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