[§205-47] Identification of important agricultural lands; county process. (a) Each county shall identify and map potential important agricultural lands within its jurisdiction based on the standards and criteria in section 205-44 and the intent of this part, except lands that have been designated, through the state land use, zoning, or county planning process, for urban use by the State or county.
(b) Each county shall develop maps of potential lands to be considered for designation as important agricultural lands in consultation and cooperation with landowners, the department of agriculture, agricultural interest groups, including representatives from the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation and other agricultural organizations, the United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service, the office of planning, and other groups as necessary.
(c) Each county, through its planning department, shall develop an inclusive process for public involvement in the identification of potential lands and the development of maps of lands to be recommended as important agricultural lands, including a series of public meetings throughout the identification and mapping process. The planning departments may also establish one or more citizen advisory committees on important agricultural lands to provide further public input, utilize an existing process (such as general plan, development plan, community plan), or employ appropriate existing and adopted general plan, development plan, or community plan maps.
(d) The counties shall take notice of those lands that have already been designated as important agricultural lands by the commission.
Upon identification of potential lands to be recommended to the county council as potential important agricultural lands, the counties shall take reasonable action to notify each owner of those lands by mail or posted notice on the affected lands to inform them of the potential designation of their lands.
In formulating its final recommendations to the respective county councils, the planning departments shall report on the manner in which the important agricultural lands mapping relates to, supports, and is consistent with the:
(1) Standards and criteria set forth in section 205-44;
(2) County's adopted land use plans, as applied to both the identification and exclusion of important agricultural lands from such designation;
(3) Comments received from government agencies and others identified in subsection (b);
(4) Viability of existing agribusinesses; and
(5) Representations or position statements of the owners whose lands are subject to the potential designation.
(e) The important agricultural lands maps shall be submitted to the county council for decision-making. The county council shall adopt the maps, with or without changes, by resolution. The adopted maps shall be transmitted to the land use commission for further action pursuant to section 205‑48. [L 2005, c 183, pt of §2]