STAND. COM. REP. NO.350-02
RE: H.B. No. 1978
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Water and Land Use and Agriculture, to which was referred H.B. No. 1978 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LAND USE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to ensure that agricultural district lands are used for agricultural purposes.
Specifically, this measure:
(1) Requires the Land Use Commission to base the boundaries of agricultural districts on the actual or potential capacity of the land for productive cultivation;
(2) Excludes open area recreational facilities, golf courses, and golf driving ranges, from agricultural districts, regardless of the productivity rating of the soil;
(3) Allows the inclusion of areas that are not currently used for, or which are not currently suited to, agricultural and ancillary activities, in agricultural districts;
(4) Transfers the authority to change the boundaries of agricultural districts, involving lands less than fifteen acres, from the county land use decision-making authorities to the Land Use Commission;
(5) Requires farm dwellings, employee housing, and farm buildings on class A and B soils to be related directly to farming and animal husbandry on the affected agricultural district lands;
(6) Allows the location and use of farm dwellings on class A and B soils only in connection with commercial farms on the affected agricultural district lands;
(7) Limits the size of farm dwellings on class A and B soils to not more than 3,500 square feet on the affected agricultural district lands;
(8) Allows commercial and recreational activities secondary to agricultural activities, such as ranch tours, on class A and B soils, on the affected agricultural district lands;
(9) Requires the Land Use Commission, in assessing whether a project is agricultural or not, to examine the project as a whole and not in a piecemeal manner;
(10) Prohibits the parceling of projects into multiple components in order to evade the intent of the law regarding permissible uses within the agricultural districts;
(11) Creates a rebuttable presumption that a subdivision is not made for farm dwellings and is not agricultural when the subdivision includes such things as houses with pools, outdoor jacuzzis, and tennis courts;
(12) Allows the presumption to be rebutted with plans and studies that demonstrate that agriculture is a real and significant component of each lot, and that crop production can pay for mortgage costs; and
(13) Permits golf courses, clubhouses, driving ranges, and country clubs; eco-tourism; open space recreation; and home occupations, within rural districts.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting the provision excluding open area recreational facilities, golf courses, and golf driving ranges from agricultural districts;
(2) Deleting the provision transferring the authority to change the boundaries of agricultural districts from the county land use decision-making authorities to the Land Use Commission;
(3) Adding a provision allowing the Land Use Commission to hear a petition for a declaratory ruling on a county land use or land use development action involving lands in the agricultural districts;
(4) Deleting the provision limiting the size of farm dwellings on class A and B soils to not more than 3,500 square feet on the affected agricultural district lands; and
(5) Making technical nonsubstantive changes for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Water and Land Use and Agriculture that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1978, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1978, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Water and Land Use and Agriculture,
FELIPE P. ABINSAY, Chair
EZRA KANOHO, Chair