State Review & Compliance



Hawaii is the only State that has adopted a State review process to preserve and protect historic property resources as a part of the permitting and planning process. (HRS Chapter 6E)   


Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and at the convergence between East and West, Hawaii is home to a distinct and unique blend of architectural styles. 


The State’s commitment to better preserve and protect Hawaii’s historic resources is codified in the State’s Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 6E.


[§6E-1]  Declaration of intent.

aloha_towerThe Constitution of the State of Hawaii recognizes the value of conserving and developing the historic and cultural property within the State for the public good.  The legislature declares that the historic and cultural heritage of the State is among its important assets and that the rapid social and economic developments of contemporary society threaten to destroy the remaining vestiges of this heritage.  The legislature further declares that it is in the public interest to engage in a comprehensive program of historic preservation at all levels of government to promote the use and conservation of such property for the education, inspiration, pleasure, and enrichment of its citizens. 


The legislature further declares that it shall be the public policy of this State to provide leadership in preserving, restoring, and maintaining historic and cultural property, to ensure the administration of such historic and cultural property in a spirit of stewardship and trusteeship for future generations, and to conduct activities, plans, and programs in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of historic and cultural property.


Please refer to HRS Chapter 6E-8 (Review of effect of proposed state projects), 6E-10 (Privately owned historic property), and 6E-42 (Review of proposed projects) for other relevant and applicable statutes that relate to the SHPD review process.

Please click on the following link for HRS Chapter 6E.


HRS§6E-    Excluded activities for privately-owned single family detached dwelling units and townhouses.  (a)  An application for a proposed project on an existing privately-owned single-family detached dwelling unit or townhouse shall be subject to the requirements of section 6E-42 only if the single-family detached dwelling unit or townhouse is over fifty years old and:


(1)  Is listed on the Hawaii or national register of historic places, or both;

(2)  Is nominated for inclusion on the Hawaii or national register of historic places, or both; or

(3)  Is located in a historic district.


For the purposes of this section:

“Dwelling unit” means a building or portion thereof designed or used exclusively for residential occupancy and having all necessary facilities for permanent residency such as living, sleeping, cooking, eating, and sanitation.

“Single-family detached dwelling unit” means an individual, freestanding, unattached dwelling unit, typically built on a lot larger than the structure itself, resulting in an area surrounding the dwelling.

In support of the State’s commitment to preserve and protect these special structures and in acknowledgement of these structures serving as evidence of our special past and place, SHPD will continue to provide quality reviews in compliance with State law.


Mandated Review Periods

Staff will be required to respond to all applications or request for initial determinations on what further work, if any, is needed within 30 days of receipt. A 30 day public comment period follows this determination. If new information is received in writing within this period and it indicates that historic properties could be affected by a project or action, the determination can be reconsidered in accordance with the process set out in §13-275-11 and §13-284-12. Staff have 45 days to review plans and reports. A 30 day public comment period runs concurrently with the staff review period. This means that we cannot issue letters stating that a report or plan is acceptable before the 30 day public comment period is over. Review periods can be extended if the agency and applicant agrees.

Website Listing

Determinations of “No Historic Properties Affected” and Acceptability of Reports or Plans

As part of the public notification process required by the rules, every Friday we will list all determinations made on proposed actions, permits, or land use approvals (i.e., no historic properties affected or further work needed) during that week. The 30 day public comment period begins once SHPD’s determination has been issued in writing and notice of such is posted on our website. For reports and plans, the posting dates mark the beginning of SHPD’s review and the beginning of the parallel public comment period. SHPD has 15 days more than the public to comment which allows staff to consider and incorporate public comments where appropriate.