§225M-2 Office of planning and sustainable development; establishment; responsibilities. (a) There is established the office of planning and sustainable development within the department of business, economic development, and tourism for administrative purposes only. The head of the office shall be known as the director of the office of planning and sustainable development and referred to in this chapter as director. The director shall have:
(1) Training in the field of urban or regional planning, public administration, or other related fields;
(2) Experience in programs or services related to governmental planning; and
(3) Experience in a supervisory, consultative, or administrative capacity.
The director shall be nominated by the governor and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appointed by the governor without regard to chapter 76, and shall be compensated at a salary level set by the governor. The director shall be included in any benefit program generally applicable to the officers and employees of the State. The director may retain staff as may be necessary for the purposes of this chapter, in conformity with chapter 76. The director shall report to the director of business, economic development, and tourism and shall not be required to report directly to any other principal executive department. The director may also employ staff without regard to chapter 76, as authorized in this chapter and as may be necessary.
(b) The office of planning and sustainable development shall gather, analyze, and provide information to the governor, the legislature, and state and county agencies to assist in the overall analysis and formulation of state policies and strategies to provide central direction and cohesion in the allocation of resources and effectuation of state activities and programs and effectively address current or emerging issues and opportunities. More specifically, the office shall engage in the following activities:
(1) State comprehensive planning and program coordination. Formulating and articulating comprehensive statewide goals, objectives, policies, and priorities, and coordinating their implementation through the statewide planning system established in part II of chapter 226;
(2) Strategic planning. Identifying and analyzing significant issues, problems, and opportunities confronting the State, and formulating strategies and alternative courses of action in response to identified problems and opportunities by:
(A) Providing in-depth policy research, analysis, and recommendations on existing or potential areas of critical state concern;
(B) Examining and evaluating the effectiveness of state programs in implementing state policies and priorities;
(C) Monitoring current social, economic, and physical conditions and trends through surveys, environmental scanning, and other techniques; and
(D) Developing, in collaboration with affected public or private agencies and organizations, implementation plans and schedules and, where appropriate, assisting in the mobilization of resources to meet identified needs;
(3) Planning coordination and cooperation. Facilitating coordinated and cooperative planning and policy development and implementation activities among state agencies and between the state, county, and federal governments, by:
(A) Reviewing, assessing, and coordinating, as necessary, major plans, programs, projects, and regulatory activities existing or proposed by state and county agencies;
(B) Formulating mechanisms to simplify, streamline, or coordinate interagency development and regulatory processes; and
(C) Recognizing the presence of federal defense and security forces and agencies in the State as important state concerns;
(4) Statewide planning and geographic information system. Collecting, integrating, analyzing, maintaining, and disseminating various forms of data and information, including geospatial data and information, to further effective state planning, policy analysis and development, and delivery of government services by:
(A) Collecting, assembling, organizing, evaluating, and classifying existing geospatial and non-geospatial data and performing necessary basic research, conversions, and integration to provide a common database for governmental planning and geospatial analyses by state agencies;
(B) Planning, coordinating, and maintaining a comprehensive, shared statewide planning and geographic information system and associated geospatial database. The office shall be the lead agency responsible for coordinating the maintenance of the multi-agency, statewide planning and geographic information system and coordinating, collecting, integrating, and disseminating geospatial data sets that are used to support a variety of state agency applications and other spatial data analyses to enhance decision-making. The office shall promote and encourage free and open data sharing among and between all government agencies. To ensure the maintenance of a comprehensive, accurate, up-to-date geospatial data resource that can be drawn upon for decision-making related to essential public policy issues such as land use planning, resource management, homeland security, and the overall health, safety, and well-being of Hawaii's citizens, and to avoid redundant data development efforts, state agencies shall provide to the shared system either their respective geospatial databases or, at a minimum, especially in cases of secure or confidential data sets that cannot be shared or must be restricted, metadata describing existing geospatial data. In cases where agencies provide restricted data, the office of planning and sustainable development shall ensure the security of that data; and
(C) Maintaining a centralized depository of state and national planning references;
(5) Land use planning. Developing and presenting the position of the State in all boundary change petitions and proceedings before the land use commission, and assisting state agencies in the development and submittal of petitions for land use district boundary amendments, and conducting reviews of the classification and districting of all lands in the State, as specified in chapter 205;
(6) Coastal and ocean policy management, and sea level rise adaptation coordination. Carrying out the lead agency responsibilities for the Hawaii coastal zone management program, as specified in chapter 205A. Also:
(A) Developing and maintaining an ocean and coastal resources information, planning, and management system;
(B) Further developing and coordinating implementation of the ocean resources management plan;
(C) Formulating ocean policies with respect to the exclusive economic zone, coral reefs, and national marine sanctuaries; and
(D) Coordinating sea level rise adaptation with state agencies having operational responsibilities over state facilities to identify existing and planned facilities, including critical infrastructure, that are vulnerable to sea level rise, flooding impacts, and natural hazards;
(7) Regional planning and studies. Conducting plans and studies to determine:
(A) The capability of various regions within the State to support projected increases in both resident populations and visitors;
(B) The potential physical, social, economic, and environmental impact on these regions resulting from increases in both resident populations and visitors;
(C) The maximum annual visitor carrying capacity for the State by region, county, and island; and
(D) The appropriate guidance and management of selected regions and areas of statewide critical concern.
The studies in subparagraphs (A) to (C) shall be conducted at appropriate intervals, but not less than once every five years;
(8) Regional, national, and international planning. Participating in and ensuring that state plans, policies, and objectives are consistent, to the extent practicable, with regional, national, and international planning efforts;
(9) Climate adaptation and sustainability planning and coordination. Conducting plans and studies and preparing reports as follows:
(A) Develop, monitor, and evaluate strategic climate adaptation plans and actionable policy recommendations for the State and counties addressing expected statewide climate change impacts identified under chapter 225P and sections 226-108 and 226-109; and
(B) Provide planning and policy guidance and assistance to state and county agencies regarding climate change and sustainability;
(10) Smart growth and transit-oriented development. Acting as the lead agency to coordinate and advance smart growth and transit-oriented development planning within the State as follows:
(A) Identify transit-oriented development opportunities shared between state and county agencies, including relevant initiatives such as the department of health's healthy Hawaii initiative and the Hawaii clean energy initiative;
(B) Refine the definition of "transit-oriented development" in the context of Hawaii, while recognizing the potential for smart growth development patterns in all locations;
(C) Clarify state goals for transit-oriented development and smart growth that support the principles of the Hawaii State Planning Act by preserving non-urbanized land, improving worker access to jobs, and reducing fuel consumption;
(D) Target transit-oriented development areas for significant increase in affordable housing and rental units;
(E) Conduct outreach to state agencies to help educate state employees about the ways they can support and benefit from transit-oriented development and the State's smart growth goals;
(F) Publicize coordinated state efforts that support smart growth, walkable neighborhoods, and transit-oriented development;
(G) Review state land use decision-making processes to identify ways to make transit-oriented development a higher priority and facilitate better and more proactive leadership in creating walkable communities and employment districts, even if transit will only be provided at a later date; and
(H) Approve all state agencies' development plans for parcels along the rail transit corridor. For the purposes of this subparagraph, "development plans" means conceptual land use plans that identify the location and planned uses within a defined area; and
(11) Environmental review. Performing duties set forth under chapter 343, serving the governor in an advisory capacity on all matters relating to environmental review, and having such powers delegated by the governor as are necessary to coordinate and, when requested by the governor, direct all state governmental agencies in matters concerning environmental quality control, including:
(A) Advising and assisting private industries, government department and agencies, and other persons on the requirements of chapter 343; and
(B) Conducting public education programs on environmental quality control;
provided that the office shall adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 to implement this paragraph.
(c) The land use commission's executive officer, chief clerk, and employees shall be administratively attached to the office, and section 205-1(c) shall apply.
(d) The office of planning and sustainable development and the land use commission shall establish procedures and safeguards to avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest that may otherwise arise as a result of any proceedings before the land use commission to which the office of planning and sustainable development is a party, including but not limited to petitions for amendments to district boundaries involving land areas greater than fifteen acres pursuant to section 205-4, and contested case proceedings pursuant to section 205-19. These procedures and safeguards shall include a reporting structure for the land use commission and its executive director and employees that is separate from the reporting structure for the land use division of the office. [L 1987, c 336, pt of §1; am L 1988, c 352, §5; am L 1990, c 160, §3; am L 1996, c 299, §1; am L 2000, c 253, §150; am L Sp 2005, c 12, §3; am L 2006, c 65, §2; am L Sp 2007, c 4, §3; am L 2014, c 83, §3; am L 2016, c 130, §3; am L 2019, c 111, §5; am L 2020, c 45, §3; am L 2021, c 152, §7, c 153, §7; and c 178, §3]
"Carbon farming task force; report to 2023 and 2025 legislature (ceases to exist on June 30, 2025)", as shown in the main volume, deleted pursuant to L 2018, c 15, §5.
State goal for affordable rental housing units; special action team (terminated December 31, 2019); annual report to 2017-2019 legislature. L 2016, c 127; L 2017, c 96, §2.
Departmental data sharing (improving educational and workforce outcomes), see §27-7.
Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation commission, see §225P-3.
Law Journals and Reviews
Lorenzo's Answer. 41 UH L. Rev. 248 (2019).