Frequently Asked Questions ...
Q. How do I request a Determination Letter or a Letter of No Effect?
QUESTIONS ABOUT ARCHAEOLOGY
Q. How does the Historic Preservation Review Process work?
QUESTIONS ABOUT ARCHITECTURE
Q. Where do I deliver architectural plans for review and comment?
A. Plans can be delivered to the receptionists at either the Kalanimoku Building, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 130 in Honolulu or to the Kakuhihewa Building, 601 Kamokila Blvd., #555 in Kapolei.If you do deliver plans to the Kalanimoku Building, please remember to call SHPD at 692-8032 and leave a message. This drop location is not continuously monitored.
Q. How do I check to see if a property is listed in the Hawai`i and Natioanl Registers of Historic Places?
A. Check the on-line register by islands. If the property you are researching is not on the register, please call the Review Board Secretary at 692-8015 for the latest submittals and additions to the register.
Q. What kind of alteration can be done to a home or structure on the Register of Historic Places?
A. Questions pertaining to alterations of a historic structure are handled on a case-by-case basis. Usually, if the desired alterations will affect the public facing elevations (a scaled drawing of the side, front, or rear of a structure) it is unlikely for the plan to be approved as submittted. Guidelines for altering a structure's interior are usually more lenient for utility spaces like bathrooms, storage, laundry and kitchen, unless the interior relates to the overall historic quality of the structure. Any approved alterations will have to comply with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation
Q. What are the benefits and trade-offs from being on the register?
A. Historic properties in Hawaii have a lower assessed value because certain guidelines must be followed while restoring or rehabilitating the structure. Drastic changes in the paint treatment, shutters, and sometimes even the adjacent landscapping could diminish its historic quality and are discouraged. For owners who can abide by these restrictions, their historic structures are eligible for property tax discounts. You must contact your county property tax assessment office to confirm the tax discount or tax relief. It may lead to lower assessed value which equates to lower county property taxes. For structures on the National Register, a larger range of tax credits as well as grants and other incentives are available.
A land owner maintaining a historic structure serves as a curator of sorts, preserving what may be a fine example of an architectural style or genre that is slowly disappearing or being compromised. For such structures, their cultural value exceeds their monetary value and they should be maintained for the benefit of future generations.
Q. Can a new or better material replace the existing material on my historic structure?
A. Replacement of structural elements with anything other than the original construction material is scrutinized on a case-by-case basis. If replacement of roofing material will negatively affect the character of the structure, i.e. replacing wood shake for glazed tile, SHPD's concurrence will not be given for the project. New, modern building materials may have different qualities which, in extreme cases, may damage existing material or cause bleeding of chemical agents into surrounding, pre-existing materials, causing accelerated deterioration. Be careful of mismatched materials which may have a detrimental effect on your historic property. Check for compatiblility when placing new building materials adjacent to the old structural material. Check with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation for guidance.
QUESTIONS ABOUT HISTORY AND CULTURE/BURIALS PROGRAM
Q. How can I review agendas and minutes for the different Island Burial Councils?
A. SHPD maintains a listing of most recent agendas, notices and minutes issued by the respective island burial Councils. See the current listing of documents posted on the web site. For documents which may be in archive, please contact one of the Burial Sites Program staff members listed on the "Burial Council Documents" page.