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Public Works - New Releases


New Flood Insurance Rate Maps for South Kona

On February 7, 2014, a FEMA Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) for the areas of Hōnaunau, Keōkea, and a small section of Ki’ilae in South Kona, will become effective and create new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

The LOMR, submitted to FEMA in early July of 2013, identifies new flood hazards as the area underwent an increase in residential and agricultural development since the original FIRMs was revised in 1988.

Structures located within a Zone AE Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) may be required to have flood insurance, if the structure is mortgaged by a U.S. government backed loan. Structures located outside the SFHA, are encouraged but not required to have flood insurance.

Property owners may check the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps at the Department of Public Works, Engineering division in Hilo weekdays, from 7:45 AM to 4:30 PM.



DCAB review required for work within Right-of-Way

Effective December 2, 2013 the Permit to Work within the County Right-of-Way will require a plan review by the Disability and Communication Access Board (DCAB) prior to the County issuing a permit.

DCAB suggests contractors plan between 4-6 weeks on an average for the plan review.

The requirement for a DCAB review is part of a state law, HRS 103-50, “Building design to consider needs of persons with disabilities.”  Effective January 1, 2013 the Disability & Communication Access Board was authorized to charge a fee for plan review services.

Although the project may not have accessibility features (manhole covers, re-roofing, machinery repairs, water tanks, etc.) a review is still required.

Construction documents must be submitted with the state HRS 103-50 Document Transmittal Form.  The form can be downloaded at DCAB accepts “half-size” construction drawings that are to scale.

DCAB will assess a plan review fee based on the estimated construction cost.  Fees are paid directly to DCAB.  The plan review fee is four tenths of one percent (0.004) for the first $500,000 of the estimated construction cost plus two-tenths of one percent (0.002) of the estimated cost of construction costs greater than $500,000 up to and including $2,000,000 plus two one-hundredths of one percent (0.0002) of the estimated construction costs over $2,000,000 except as follows:  

  1. The minimum review fee for plans and specifications subject to accessibility guidelines is $200.00.
  2. DCAB may limit the maximum fee for plans and specification for infrastructure projects or projects managed by private nonprofit entities to $3,000.
  3. There is a $50 review fee for projects with plans and specifications that do not reflect any elements subject to accessibility guidelines.

The Department of Public Works recommends contractors scheduling work to begin in December use the new right of entry form, dated 9/17/2013 and submit construction plans for DCAB’s review prior to December 2, 2013.  The forms are available at the Public Works offices in Hilo and Kona or, may be downloaded on the website:



It has come to our attention that due to spam filtering settings, yahoo email accounts had recently blocked the receipt of County emails.  Spam and email filtering settings for other providers have not been an issue to our knowledge.  The County has no control over the spam and filter settings of yahoo, gmail, hotmail or any other email service.  Please adjust your spam and filter settings accordingly.

If you had created a web application and did not receive an email confirmation or feel that you did not receive an inspection result, please email For web applications, please provide the web number and date of submittal. For inspection results, please provide the permit number, inspection type, and date of request.

Sorry for the inconvenience.


Architect or structural engineers seal not required for residential Photovoltaic (PV) building plans and specs

The recent change section 9-33 in Chapter 9 of the electrical code removes the requirement for an architect or structural engineer’s seal on building plans and specs for residential Photovoltaic (PV) installations.  The change signed into law under ordinance 12-149 by Mayor Kenoi became effective November 8, 2012.

The law did not change the requirement for the architect or structural engineers seal on building plans and specs for non-residential PV installations.  Building and electrical permits for residential and non- residential are still required for PV installations, and electrical engineers stamp for electrical design drawings.

Electrical and building applications may be completed and tracked online through the Papa Aukahi web portal

Public computers within the Hilo and Kona Building Division Offices are also available to create and track online permit applications.

Front desk support for permit applications is 7:45 AM to 3:30 PM Monday – Friday, with the exception of Wednesday (Hilo) and Thursday (Kona).  Office hours are: 7:45 AM to 4:30 PM

Hilo:    7:45 AM - 3:30 PM and Wednesday 7:45 AM to noon.

Kona:  7:45 AM-3:30 PM and Thursday 7:45 AM to noon.

All other Public Works divisions remain available to 4:30 PM for code questions, consultation, and drop off and pick up for plans and permits.


Roadwork begins next month on Ka‘iminani Drive in North Kona

Construction on Ka‘iminani Drive in North Kona is scheduled to begin the week of October 1.  Improvements will begin just below the intersection at Māmalahoa Highway (Route190) for approximately one mile ending near Ahiahi Street.

Improvements will focus on roadway reconstruction and drainage improvements that include six-foot wide shoulders, drainage structures and swales, and driveway tie-ins on Ka‘iminani to prevent a “drop-off” between the reconstructed pavement and the existing driveways, retaining walls, utility adjustment and relocation, mailbox and newspaper box relocation, road resurfacing, signs and restriping.

The contractor working with the property owners will coordinate removal, and or trimming plants located in the County right-of-way.

The temporary relocation of postal and newspaper boxes and temporary shutdown of water and utility services will be coordinated with the U.S. Postal Service, the contractor, utility companies, property owners and County agencies.

Traffic management plans will be in place between the construction hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  No weekends, holidays and nighttime work is scheduled at this time.

Jas W. Glover Ltd, the contractor was awarded the $10 million improvement project.  The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is funding 80 percent of the $10 million construction cost.

Construction is expected to take a year.