Special Plans Branch

Purpose:  “To improve the planning process in this State, to increase the effectiveness of government and private actions, to improve coordination among different agencies and levels of government, to provide for wise use of Hawaii’s resources and to guide the future development of the State.”  See HRS §226-1.

The Special Plans Branch is tasked with carrying out the functions of the Office of Planning related to statewide planning under the Hawaii State Planning Act.   The following are recent and ongoing projects.

Natural Disaster Economic Recovery Strategy.   The Hawaii Natural Disaster Economic Recovery Strategy is a 2014 report commissioned by the Office of Planning and prepared by SSFM International, Inc.  Funding was provided by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.  It addresses pre-disaster business continuity planning and post-disaster recovery actions for both public and private sectors with a focus on small businesses.  This report is divided into 4 major sections: (1) a review of the existing conditions of preparedness, response, and recovery in Hawaii; (2) a strengths and gaps analysis of those conditions; (3) the strategic issues, goals, and objectives of those strategies; and (4) the recommended implementation strategies for Hawaii.  There is also a list of useful resources.  The Office of Planning is working on a guide for small businesses to utilize.

2010 Hawaii Statewide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and 2005 CEDS.  These documents demonstrate that the State of Hawaii has gone through a deliberative and thorough planning process to provide a framework for recommending projects for Economic Development Administration funding.  A CEDS is required as a precondition for funding under most EDA programs.

Hawaii Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund. The Hawaii Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (HBCRLF) is a federally funded program administered by the Office of Planning that provides low-cost loans to eligible public and private entities to cleanup brownfields sites where economic or community development projects show the greatest need, exhibit long-term project viability, and demonstrate the capacity of repayment.

Rural Economic Development Report.  A 2010 report commissioned by the Office of Planning and prepared by SMS Research & Marketing Services, Inc.  The report is divided into three parts: (1) a summary of the present demographic and economic situation regarding rural areas throughout the state of Hawaii; (2) reviews studies and reports from successful rural communities both in Hawaii and throughout the nation; and (3) recommendations to encourage rural economic development in Hawaii.

Report on Urban Lands in the State of Hawaii.  A 2006 update of the urban lands requirement study that was originally prepared as part of the 1991 State Land Use District Boundary Review.  The purpose of both studies was to identify vacant and developable lands in the State Urban District statewide and identify acreage requirements for projected growth by county and island.

Master Plan for the Agricultural Resource Center of Hoea.  The Master Plan for the Agricultural Resource Center of Hoea contains an environmental assessment and site plans which provide the first steps toward the future development and construction of an agricultural processing facility in North Kohala. From 2005 to 2010, the Office of Planning, with grant funds from EDA, supported the preparation of master plans to help implement projects in the 2005 CEDS. Five master plans were completed to provide the initial planning and site assessment work to assist development of a film and digital media center, agricultural business complex, educational facility, health facility, and the Agricultural Resouce Center of Hoea.

Increased Food Security and Food Self-Sufficiency Strategy.  This project was undertaken to implement the 2010 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) which in part called for increased food and energy self-sufficiency.  The strategy also supports increased food self-sufficiency, a goal that the State has for agriculture.  Three reports were prepared with the assistance of grant funding from the Economic Development Administration (EDA).  The Increased Food Security and Food Self-Sufficiency Strategy (Strategy) sets forth objectives, policies and actions to increase the amount of locally grown food consumed by Hawaii residents.  The Strategy is a living document intended as a first step toward continued dialog and implementation.  Volume II is entitled A History of Agriculture in Hawaii and Technical Reference Document.  It examines the history of agriculture in Hawaii from the 1960s to the present, with a focus on the transition from plantation agriculture to diversified agriculture.  Volume II also contains background information and serves as a resource base for the Strategy.  Volume III is entitled Assessment of Irrigation Systems in Hawaii.  It provides an assessment of the general status and needs of agricultural irrigation systems owned by the State of Hawaii.  It provides estimated costs for rehabilitation and maintenance of these systems.  Volume III also includes a summary of the economic impact of several inventoried agricultural irrigation systems.  Comments related to this project may be sent to Food.SelfSufficiency.Strategy@dbedt.hawaii.gov