October, 1976 Home   Newsletters

November, 1976

December, 1976

November Units - Planning
From the President (Carol Whitesell)
November Calendar
Finance Drive Launched
Going Downtown???
Leaguers in Action
Gold Bond
Evaluating the Akamai Voter (Helen Griffin)
Proposed Position Statement on Planning & Zoning
Roster Update
General Definitions (Planning & Zoning Pull-and-Save)


General Definitions


ZONING: A law dividing the land in a city (or other area) into districts, and specifying, for each one, regulations as to permitted land uses and intensity of development, parking requirements, and other regulations to control future development according to the city plan.

BULK: A measurement of the amount of physical volume of building or construction on a given piece of land. Can be expressed in terms of various combinations of height (feet or number of stories), lot coverage, floor area ratio (see below), etc.

Example: A 20-story building covering 40% of a lot has half the bulk of a 20-story building covering 20% of a lot or of a 10-story building covering 40% of a lot.

DENSITY: A measurement of the relative intensity of land use. For residential land, can be expressed as the number of persons or families per acre, rooms or apartments per acre, or as derived from floor area per acre.

Example: Houses on 7,500 sq. ft. lots have a density of about six families per acre; high-rise apartments may have 150,000 or 250,000 of sq. ft. of floor area per acre, enough to house 150 to 300 or more families per acre.

LOT COVERAGE: Proportion (or percent) of a piece of land which, if viewed directly from above, would not be visible because covered by a building or structure. The rest of the lot is OPEN SPACE.

Definitions from Honolulu's Comprehensive Zoning Code (CZC)

(FAR) Floor Area: The sum of the areas, in square feet, of the several floors (or stories) of a building, measured from exterior faces of exterior walls, but EXCLUDING:



Areas used for air-conditioning, ventilating, etc.

Parking structures and accessways thereto (without limit as to area or lot coverage)

(LA) LAND AREA: The area (of a lot in sq.ft.) of the zoning lot, PLUS: One-half the area of the abutting street or streets and the Lesser of:

One-half the area of the abutting "beneficial open space" (1/) One-half the applicable LUI rating, times the total linear feet of the abutting "beneficial open space".

(1) "Beneficial open space" (BCS) includes public parks, the grounds around public buildings, rivers, lakes, oceans, and similar open space adjoining a zoning lot and performing a necessary or desirable function in relation to its residential use.

(FAR) FLOOR AREA RATIO: FA/LA expressed as a percentage or decimal. The maximum FAR times the LA is the maximum permitted floor area on a lot.

Example: A 20,000 sq. ft. lot in an A-4 district has a maximum LUI rating of 73, which corresponds to a maximum FAR of 2.00. The maximum FA on the lot is 40,000 sq. ft.

(OS) OPEN SPACE: The LA (as determined from above definition) less the area covered by a building, PLUS:

1 Usable roof area

2 One-half of area of eligible covered open space

(OSR) OPEN, SPACE RATIO: OS/FA built, expressed as a decimal. The minimum OSR times the FA is the minimum required open space on a lot.

Example: A 20,000 sq. ft. lot in an A-4 district, with maximum LUI rating of 73 as shown above, corresponds to a minimum OSR of .36. If 40,000 sq. ft. of FA are built, there must be at least 14,400 sq. ft. of OS as defined above.

(LUI) LAND USE INTENSITY SCALE: A numbered scale (from 30 to 85),each point on which corresponds to a maximum floor area ratio (FAR), and a minimum open space ratio (OSR)

Minimum living space ratio (LSR) and recreation space ratio (RSR) also specified but not discussed here as they do not have any major effect on densities.

In apartment, hotel, and some business districts, there are maximum land use intensity ratings (varying by size of lot) which thus govern the maximum FAR and minimum OSR for the specific lot.

Example: A LUI rating of 70 denotes a maximum FAR of 1.60 and a minimum OSR of .43.

(1)"Usable roof area" is the total roof area of residential buildings, garages, and accessory buildings which have been landscaped or improved as recreation space for the residents

(2)"Eligible covered open space" includes among others roofed carports, Torches, lanais, etc., with limitations as to the maximum area which can be counted.

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