THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2341

TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2012

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 2

 

C.D. 1

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO LAND USE.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that there are many examples across the country of agricultural tourism incorporated within productive farms and ranches. For example, several sites in Napa valley in northern California are well-known agricultural tourism destinations. Agricultural tourism serves as a means to provide not only additional income for farmers and ranchers but also serves as a learning experience for many people who do not have a connection to agriculture.

The legislature further finds that there are agricultural tourism opportunities in areas such as the Hamakua coast on the island of Hawaii, upcountry Maui, and the north and west sides of Kauai. Additional economic activity in those areas will also benefit neighboring communities. Although the legislature finds that agricultural tourism can be a profitable marketing tool for the agricultural industry, the legislature recognizes that each county may have differing priorities regarding land use, particularly regarding permissible uses on agricultural lands. The intent of this Act is to enable the counties to make their own determinations regarding the allowance of certain activities on, or uses of, land in agricultural districts.

The purpose of this Act is to allow agricultural tourism activities, including certain overnight accommodations of twenty-one days or less, in agricultural districts for any one stay within a county; provided that the county includes at least three islands and has adopted an ordinance specifically allowing for such activity.

SECTION 2. Section 141-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending its title and subsection (a) to read as follows:

"[[]141-9[]] Energy feedstock program. (a) There is established within the department of agriculture an energy feedstock program that shall:

(1) Maintain cognizance of actions taken by industry and by federal, state, county, and private agencies in activities relating to the production of energy feedstock, and promote and support worthwhile energy feedstock production activities in the State;

(2) Serve as an information clearinghouse for energy feedstock production activities;

(3) Coordinate development projects to investigate and solve biological and technical problems involved in raising selected species with commercial energy generating potential;

(4) Actively seek federal funding for energy feedstock production activities;

(5) Undertake activities required to develop and expand the energy feedstock production industry; and

(6) Perform other functions and activities as may be assigned by law, including monitoring the compliance provisions under section [205-4.5(a)(15).] 205‑4.5(a)(16)."

SECTION 3. Section 205-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:

"(d) Agricultural districts shall include:

(1) Activities or uses as characterized by the cultivation of crops, crops for bioenergy, orchards, forage, and forestry;

(2) Farming activities or uses related to animal husbandry and game and fish propagation;

(3) Aquaculture, which means the production of aquatic plant and animal life within ponds and other bodies of water;

(4) Wind generated energy production for public, private, and commercial use;

(5) Biofuel production, as described in section [205‑4.5(a)(15),] 205-4.5(a)(16), for public, private, and commercial use;

(6) Solar energy facilities; provided that:

(A) This paragraph shall apply only to land with soil classified by the land study bureau's detailed land classification as overall (master) productivity rating class B, C, D, or E; and

(B) Solar energy facilities placed within land with soil classified as overall productivity rating class B or C shall not occupy more than ten per cent of the acreage of the parcel, or twenty acres of land, whichever is lesser;

(7) Bona fide agricultural services and uses that support the agricultural activities of the fee or leasehold owner of the property and accessory to any of the above activities, regardless of whether conducted on the same premises as the agricultural activities to which they are accessory, including farm dwellings as defined in section 205-4.5(a)(4), employee housing, farm buildings, mills, storage facilities, processing facilities, agricultural-energy facilities as defined in section [205-4.5(a)(16),] 205-4.5(a)(17), vehicle and equipment storage areas, roadside stands for the sale of products grown on the premises, and plantation community subdivisions as defined in section 205‑4.5(a)(12);

(8) Wind machines and wind farms;

(9) Small-scale meteorological, air quality, noise, and other scientific and environmental data collection and monitoring facilities occupying less than one-half acre of land; provided that these facilities shall not be used as or equipped for use as living quarters or dwellings;

(10) Agricultural parks;

(11) Agricultural tourism conducted on a working farm, or a farming operation as defined in section 165-2, for the enjoyment, education, or involvement of visitors; provided that the agricultural tourism activity is accessory and secondary to the principal agricultural use and does not interfere with surrounding farm operations; and provided further that this paragraph shall apply only to a county that has adopted ordinances regulating agricultural tourism under section 205-5; [and]

(12) Agricultural tourism activities, including overnight accommodations of twenty-one days or less, for any one stay within a county; provided that this paragraph shall apply only to a county that includes at least three islands and has adopted ordinances regulating agricultural tourism activities pursuant to section 205-5; provided further that the agricultural tourism activities coexist with a bona fide agricultural activity. For the purposes of this paragraph, "bona fide agricultural activity" means a farming operation as defined in section 165-2; and

[(12)] (13) Open area recreational facilities.

Agricultural districts shall not include golf courses and golf driving ranges, except as provided in section 205-4.5(d). Agricultural districts include areas that are not used for, or that are not suited to, agricultural and ancillary activities by reason of topography, soils, and other related characteristics."

SECTION 4. Section 205-4.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Within the agricultural district, all lands with soil classified by the land study bureau's detailed land classification as overall (master) productivity rating class A or B shall be restricted to the following permitted uses:

(1) Cultivation of crops, including crops for bioenergy, flowers, vegetables, foliage, fruits, forage, and timber;

(2) Game and fish propagation;

(3) Raising of livestock, including poultry, bees, fish, or other animal or aquatic life that are propagated for economic or personal use;

(4) Farm dwellings, employee housing, farm buildings, or activities or uses related to farming and animal husbandry. "Farm dwelling", as used in this paragraph, means a single-family dwelling located on and used in connection with a farm, including clusters of single-family farm dwellings permitted within agricultural parks developed by the State, or where agricultural activity provides income to the family occupying the dwelling;

(5) Public institutions and buildings that are necessary for agricultural practices;

(6) Public and private open area types of recreational uses, including day camps, picnic grounds, parks, and riding stables, but not including dragstrips, airports, drive-in theaters, golf courses, golf driving ranges, country clubs, and overnight camps;

(7) Public, private, and quasi-public utility lines and roadways, transformer stations, communications equipment buildings, solid waste transfer stations, major water storage tanks, and appurtenant small buildings such as booster pumping stations, but not including offices or yards for equipment, material, vehicle storage, repair or maintenance, treatment plants, corporation yards, or other similar structures;

(8) Retention, restoration, rehabilitation, or improvement of buildings or sites of historic or scenic interest;

(9) Roadside stands for the sale of agricultural products grown on the premises;

(10) Buildings and uses, including mills, storage, and processing facilities, maintenance facilities, and vehicle and equipment storage areas that are normally considered directly accessory to the above-mentioned uses and are permitted under section 205-2(d);

(11) Agricultural parks;

(12) Plantation community subdivisions, which as used in this chapter means an established subdivision or cluster of employee housing, community buildings, and agricultural support buildings on land currently or formerly owned, leased, or operated by a sugar or pineapple plantation; provided that the existing structures may be used or rehabilitated for use, and new employee housing and agricultural support buildings may be allowed on land within the subdivision as follows:

(A) The employee housing is occupied by employees or former employees of the plantation who have a property interest in the land;

(B) The employee housing units not owned by their occupants shall be rented or leased at affordable rates for agricultural workers; or

(C) The agricultural support buildings shall be rented or leased to agricultural business operators or agricultural support services;

(13) Agricultural tourism conducted on a working farm, or a farming operation as defined in section 165-2, for the enjoyment, education, or involvement of visitors; provided that the agricultural tourism activity is accessory and secondary to the principal agricultural use and does not interfere with surrounding farm operations; and provided further that this paragraph shall apply only to a county that has adopted ordinances regulating agricultural tourism under section 205-5;

(14) Agricultural tourism activities, including overnight accommodations of twenty-one days or less, for any one stay within a county; provided that this paragraph shall apply only to a county that includes at least three islands and has adopted ordinances regulating agricultural tourism activities pursuant to section 205-5; provided further that the agricultural tourism activities coexist with a bona fide agricultural activity. For the purposes of this paragraph, "bona fide agricultural activity" means a farming operation as defined in section 165-2;

[(14)] (15) Wind energy facilities, including the appurtenances associated with the production and transmission of wind generated energy; provided that the wind energy facilities and appurtenances are compatible with agriculture uses and cause minimal adverse impact on agricultural land;

[(15)] (16) Biofuel processing facilities, including the appurtenances associated with the production and refining of biofuels that is normally considered directly accessory and secondary to the growing of the energy feedstock; provided that biofuels processing facilities and appurtenances do not adversely impact agricultural land and other agricultural uses in the vicinity.

For the purposes of this paragraph:

"Appurtenances" means operational infrastructure of the appropriate type and scale for economic commercial storage and distribution, and other similar handling of feedstock, fuels, and other products of biofuels processing facilities.

"Biofuel processing facility" means a facility that produces liquid or gaseous fuels from organic sources such as biomass crops, agricultural residues, and oil crops, including palm, canola, soybean, and waste cooking oils; grease; food wastes; and animal residues and wastes that can be used to generate energy;

[(16)] (17) Agricultural-energy facilities, including appurtenances necessary for an agricultural-energy enterprise; provided that the primary activity of the agricultural-energy enterprise is agricultural activity. To be considered the primary activity of an agricultural-energy enterprise, the total acreage devoted to agricultural activity shall be not less than ninety per cent of the total acreage of the agricultural-energy enterprise. The agricultural-energy facility shall be limited to lands owned, leased, licensed, or operated by the entity conducting the agricultural activity.

As used in this paragraph:

"Agricultural activity" means any activity described in paragraphs (1) to (3) of this subsection.

"Agricultural-energy enterprise" means an enterprise that integrally incorporates an agricultural activity with an agricultural-energy facility.

"Agricultural-energy facility" means a facility that generates, stores, or distributes renewable energy as defined in section 269-91 or renewable fuel including electrical or thermal energy or liquid or gaseous fuels from products of agricultural activities from agricultural lands located in the State.

"Appurtenances" means operational infrastructure of the appropriate type and scale for the economic commercial generation, storage, distribution, and other similar handling of energy, including equipment, feedstock, fuels, and other products of agricultural-energy facilities;

[(17)] (18) Construction and operation of wireless communication antennas; provided that, for the purposes of this paragraph, "wireless communication antenna" means communications equipment that is either freestanding or placed upon or attached to an already existing structure and that transmits and receives electromagnetic radio signals used in the provision of all types of wireless communications services; provided further that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to permit the construction of any new structure that is not deemed a permitted use under this subsection;

[(18)] (19) Agricultural education programs conducted on a farming operation as defined in section 165-2, for the education and participation of the general public; provided that the agricultural education programs are accessory and secondary to the principal agricultural use of the parcels or lots on which the agricultural education programs are to occur and do not interfere with surrounding farm operations. For the purposes of this section, "agricultural education programs" means activities or events designed to promote knowledge and understanding of agricultural activities and practices conducted on a farming operation as defined in section 165-2; or

[(19)] (20) Solar energy facilities that do not occupy more than ten per cent of the acreage of the parcel, or twenty acres of land, whichever is lesser; provided that this use shall not be permitted on lands with soil classified by the land study bureau's detailed land classification as overall (master) productivity rating class A."

SECTION 5. Section 205-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) Within agricultural districts, uses compatible to the activities described in section 205‑2 as determined by the commission shall be permitted; provided that accessory agricultural uses and services described in sections 205‑2 and 205‑4.5 may be further defined by each county by zoning ordinance. Each county shall adopt ordinances setting forth procedures and requirements, including provisions for enforcement, penalties, and administrative oversight, for the review and permitting of agricultural tourism uses and activities as an accessory use on a working farm, or farming operation as defined in section 165‑2[; provided that agricultural tourism activities shall not be permissible in the absence of a bona fide farming operation]. Ordinances shall include but not be limited to:

(1) Requirements for access to a farm, including road width, road surface, and parking;

(2) Requirements and restrictions for accessory facilities connected with the farming operation, including gift shops and restaurants; [provided that overnight accommodations shall not be permitted;]

(3) Activities that may be offered by the farming operation for visitors;

(4) Days and hours of operation; and

(5) Automatic termination of the accessory use upon the cessation of the farming operation.

Each county may require an environmental assessment under chapter 343 as a condition to any agricultural tourism use and activity. Other uses may be allowed by special permits issued pursuant to this chapter. The minimum lot size in agricultural districts shall be determined by each county by zoning ordinance, subdivision ordinance, or other lawful means; provided that the minimum lot size for any agricultural use shall not be less than one acre, except as provided herein. If the county finds that unreasonable economic hardship to the owner or lessee of land cannot otherwise be prevented or where land utilization is improved, the county may allow lot sizes of less than the minimum lot size as specified by law for lots created by a consolidation of existing lots within an agricultural district and the resubdivision thereof; provided that the consolidation and resubdivision do not result in an increase in the number of lots over the number existing prior to consolidation; and provided further that in no event shall a lot which is equal to or exceeds the minimum lot size of one acre be less than that minimum after the consolidation and resubdivision action. The county may also allow lot sizes of less than the minimum lot size as specified by law for lots created or used for plantation community subdivisions as defined in section 205‑4.5(a)(12), for public, private, and quasi-public utility purposes, and for lots resulting from the subdivision of abandoned roadways and railroad easements."

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.



 

Report Title:

Zoning; Agricultural Tourism

 

Description:

Authorizes, within an agricultural district, agricultural tourism activities, including overnight accommodations of twenty-one days or less, for any one stay within a county; provided that the activities coexist with a bona fide agricultural activity and the county includes at least three islands and has adopted ordinances regulating agricultural tourism activities. (CD1)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.