State Land Use System Review

In 2014, the Office of Planning (OP), initiated a review of the State’s land use system in response to concerns expressed over the years about the State Land Use District Boundary Amendment process in Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 205 and the State land use system as a whole.

OP’s efforts in this review culminated with the preparation of the State Land Use System Review Draft Report, which explores different ways to increase the effectiveness of the land use system without compromising the original intent of the Land Use Law.  OP held a public comment period to solicit feedback on the report from May 1, 2015 through June 12, 2015, during which time OP received 32 comments from stakeholders and the public.  While the public comments reflected a broad range of perspectives and preferences about the structure of the land use system, the comments generally expressed appreciation for OP’s thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of the land use system and for the opportunity to participate in the land use review process.  A compilation of the comments received is available for download in the sidebar to the right and in the Community and Stakeholder Engagement section below.

Upon review of the comments received during the public comment period, and following consultation with the Land Use Commission, additional research and data gathering has been deemed necessary to validate issues raised in the report.  At this time, OP has not determined when the final report will be completed, but OP will provide additional information here as it becomes available.

State Land Use Review Task Force

In February 2014, OP convened a task force of diverse stakeholders to provide information, perspectives, and expertise on how the State land use system is working, and how the efficiency and effectiveness of the land use process could be improved without compromising the original intent of the law.

Task Force Member List

The Task Force was comprised of representatives from the following agencies and organizations who participated in an ex-officio capacity and/or on a voluntary basis.

Office of Planning  (Convenor)
Land Use Commission
City & County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting
County of Maui Department of Planning
County of Hawaii Planning Department
County of Kauai Planning Department
State Department of Transportation, Statewide Transportation Planning
State Department of Transportation, Highways Division
State Department of Agriculture
State Department of Land and Natural Resources
State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
Waikiki Improvement Association (Tourism Industry)
Hawaii Farm Bureau
American Planning Association, Hawaii Chapter
American Institute of Architects, Hawaii Chapter
Land Use Research Foundation
Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
Building Industry Association of Hawaii
Sierra Club of Hawaii
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Outdoor Circle
Hawaii State Senate
Hawaii State House of Representatives

Task Force Meeting Information and Materials

The information provided below is an inventory of all Task Force activities to date and materials reviewed at the meetings.

Meeting No./Date
Agenda Meeting Materials
Meeting No. 1
February 6, 2014
Agenda State Land Use Review Task Force Work Plan Outline
State Land Use Review Task Force Principles and Guidelines
Land Use Division Fact Sheet
Land Use Review Task Force Questionnaire Results
Meeting Notes
PowerPoint Presentation on the Five-Year Boundary Review
Meeting No. 2
April 3, 2014
Agenda Overview of District Boundary Amendment Process (flowchart)
Map of State Land Use Districts
Oral Comments and Post-It Note Comments
PowerPoint Presentation on the State Land Use District Boundary Amendment Review
Meeting No. 3
June 5, 2014
Agenda Towards a Desired Land Use System for Hawaii
System Questions and Responses
Sub-group Workshops
June 27 and July 17, 2014
Agenda Task Force Members’ Ideas for System Improvements
Meeting No. 4
August 21, 2014

System Improvements with Comments and Preferences
State Land Use System Summaries Recommended as Models for Best Practices
Improvements Important to System Fix & Re-design Options
System Improvement Options

Meeting No. 5
October 30, 2014
Agenda Initial Summary of Elements for Desired Land Use System
Issue and Problem Statement Summaries
Meeting Notes
Meeting No. 6
April 16, 2015
Agenda Compilation of Community & Stakeholder Comments
State Land Use System Review Draft Report

Community and Stakeholder Engagement

From November 2014 to March 2015, OP conducted a series of community and stakeholder meetings statewide to obtain broader input on how the system was working.  Fourteen stakeholder meetings were held on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii and Kauai to hear from interested stakeholders on the effectiveness of the State’s land use system.  The meetings were attended by landowners, developers, farmers, conservationists, planners, and others who had experience with or concerns about the State land use system.  Please see the links below for more information about this process.

OP held a public comment period from May 1, 2015 through June 12, 2015.  Below is a compilation of the stakeholder and public comments received.

State Land Use System Review Draft Report Public Comments

Additional Resources

Below are links to various resources about the existing land use system, current land use regulations, examples of best practices, or other relevant state land use and planning information. The project reference materials in the column on the left were compiled by OP staff and the resources in the column on the right were submitted by Task Force members.

If you would like to share a document (plan, report, article, map, etc.), please send a PDF of the document to Rodney Funakoshi at [email protected] to be uploaded here.  Please note that OP will not be monitoring the content of the submissions, nor will OP be providing hard copies of the documents for distribution.

Project Reference Materials Member Contributions
1975 Report to the People Success Stories of HRS 205 (Sierra Club)
A Short History of the State Land Use District 5-Year Boundary Reviews Washington State Comprehensive Planning/Growth Management (Department of Land and Natural Resources)
Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 15, Chapter 15, Land Use Commission Rules State of California General Plan Guidelines (County of Maui)
Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 205, Land Use Commission State of Washington Growth Management Code (County of Maui)
Oregon Urban Growth Management Functional Plan State of Washington Growth Management Laws and Rules (County of Maui)
Oregon’s 40-Year-Old Innovation State of Maryland Smart Growth Planning Topics (County of Maui)
State Land Use Regulation and Management Study: Findings and Recommendations to the State Legislature APA Recommendations for State Land Use Reform (APA, Hawaii Chapter)
The Land Between: Renewing Hawaii’s System of Land Use Planning & Regulation

Contact Information

If you have any questions about the State Land Use Review project, please contact Rodney Funakoshi at [email protected] or by phone at (808) 587-2885.