STAND. COM. REP. NO.  385

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2009

 

RE:   H.B. No. 975

 

 

 

 

Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Fifth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2009

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

     Your Committees on Agriculture and Water, Land, & Ocean Resources, to which was referred H.B. No. 975 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL WATER SYSTEMS,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

     The purpose of this bill is to provide additional flexibility to the operations of the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) by authorizing ADC to acquire by grant, purchase, or gift the real, personal, or mixed property comprising an agricultural water system to provide water for irrigation of agricultural lands.  In addition, this bill:

 

     (1)  Requires the owner of an agricultural water system acquired under this bill to provide a description of the system sufficient to identify the property being acquired; and

 

     (2)  Exempts the conveying of the property of an agricultural water system to ADC from county subdivision requirements.

 

     ADC, Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, Kamehameha Schools, and Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation supported this bill.  The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) supported this bill with amendments.  The Department of Planning and Permitting of the City and County of Honolulu (DPP) opposed this measure.

 

     Your Committees recognize that concerns were raised regarding the exemption from county subdivision requirements.  OHA requested the insertion of additional language to prevent potential abuses by clarifying that the exemption applies only for the purpose of irrigation of agricultural lands.  In addition, testimony submitted by DPP indicated that one of the county subdivision oversight functions is to ensure that any lots to be subdivided are provided with adequate access and necessary utilities, and are also deemed suitable and not prone to flooding, bad drainage, rockfall, or other potentially harmful conditions.  Furthermore, lots that are subdivided and recorded without county approval lack an official record with the county.  The absence of such records may hinder the issuance of future building or other development permits.  Your Committees support future legislative efforts to address these issues.

 

     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Water, Land, & Ocean Resources that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 975 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committee on Finance.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Water, Land, & Ocean Resources,

 

 

____________________________

KEN ITO, Chair

 

____________________________

CLIFT TSUJI, Chair