205-44 Standards and criteria for the identification of important agricultural lands. (a) The standards and criteria in this section shall be used to identify important agricultural lands. Lands identified as important agricultural lands need not meet every standard and criteria listed in subsection (c). Rather, lands meeting any of the criteria in subsection (c) shall be given initial consideration; provided that the designation of important agricultural lands shall be made by weighing the standards and criteria with each other to meet the constitutionally mandated purposes in article XI, section 3, of the Hawaii constitution and the objectives and policies for important agricultural lands in sections 205-42 and 205-43.

(b) In a petition for a declaratory order submitted under section 205-45 that seeks to both designate lands as important agricultural lands and reclassify lands in the agricultural district to the rural, conservation, or urban district, the lands shall be deemed qualified for designation as important agricultural land if the commission reasonably finds that the lands meet at least the criteria of subsection (c)(5) and (7) of this section.

If a petition seeks to only designate land as important agricultural lands, then the commission shall evaluate the lands in accordance with subsection (a).

(c) The standards and criteria shall be as follows:

(1) Land currently used for agricultural production;

(2) Land with soil qualities and growing conditions that support agricultural production of food, fiber, or fuel- and energy-producing crops;

(3) Land identified under agricultural productivity rating systems, such as the agricultural lands of importance to the State of Hawaii (ALISH) system adopted by the board of agriculture on January 28, 1977;

(4) Land types associated with traditional native Hawaiian agricultural uses, such as taro cultivation, or unique agricultural crops and uses, such as coffee, vineyards, aquaculture, and energy production;

(5) Land with sufficient quantities of water to support viable agricultural production;

(6) Land whose designation as important agricultural lands is consistent with general, development, and community plans of the county;

(7) Land that contributes to maintaining a critical land mass important to agricultural operating productivity; and

(8) Land with or near support infrastructure conducive to agricultural productivity, such as transportation to markets, water, or power. [L 2005, c 183, pt of 2; am L 2008, c 233, 18]

 

 

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