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.

2015 Hawaii Statewide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Update.  The CEDS is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development.  Through county and community level data collection and community input activities, the CEDS provides the foundation by which the public sector, working in conjunction with the economic actors (individuals, firms, industries), creates the environment for regional economic prosperity.  The Hawaii Statewide CEDS must be updated every 5 years for entities to quality for funding under the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs.

Special Action Team on Affordable Rental Housing  On June 29, 2016, Act 127 was signed into law.  Act 127 addresses rental housing by establishing an affordable rental housing goal, and establishing a Special Action Team on affordable rental housing, led by the Director of the Office of Planning, to make recommendations on actions to promote rental housing.  The goal is to develop or vest the development of at least 22,500 affordable rental housing units, ready for occupancy between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2026.  The goal may be met through conversions (non-affordable to affordable) or new developments.

The Special Action Team on Affordable Rental Housing is established for administrative purposes within the Office of Planning.  The eleven (11) members include the: Office of Planning, Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation, Member of the House of Representatives, Member of the Senate, County representatives (4), members of the public (3) appointed by the Governor.

Kalihi 21st Century Transformation Initiative  With the possible relocation of the Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) from its current location in Kalihi, Governor Ige seeks a renaissance for Kalihi.  The Office of Planning will lead the group of community leaders in convening a series of community meetings to let Kalihi speak about what Kalihi wants and what role it will play in the future of Honolulu.  This Vision Committee had its inaugural meeting on August 8, 2016 at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Hau Street facility.  Future meeting dates and the work plan for this project is forthcoming.

Hawaii State Plan Update Phase 1  The Office of Planning proposed to undertake a comprehensive review of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 226, the State Planning Act – with respect to how it aligns with current and emerging conditions and issues and its effectiveness in addressing the needs of Hawaii’s people and providing for Hawaii’s future.  The last comprehensive review of the State Planning Act, was initiated in 1983, completed in 1985, and resulted in the enactment of legislation to fine tune the goals, policies, and objectives of Part I and priority guidelines of Part III.

This project, Phase 1, is an initial step towards a larger effort to conduct a comprehensive review of HRS Chapter 226, the State Planning Act.  Phase 1 involves inventorying and reviewing all state department plans, strategic plans, functional plans, and capital improvement plans; identifying common themes and policy directions; developing findings as to the overall status of the plans and preparing findings and recommendations for next steps in the update of the State Planning Act.