S.B. NO.



S.D. 2


H.D. 1














SECTION 1. Chapter 46, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Part . planning districts

46-A Findings and purpose. The legislature finds that successful planning for growth requires reducing sprawl and creating urban developments in existing and new communities that offer a high quality of life for a broad range of household types. Further, well-designed and well-integrated higher-density development can significantly reduce dependency on cars and decrease traffic congestion and vehicle emissions. Benefits are even greater when job locations and retail shopping locations are incorporated with the housing. Mixed-use neighborhoods make it easier for persons to park their cars in one location where they may accomplish several tasks. This not only reduces the number of car trips required but also reduces overall parking needs for the community and our carbon imprint. Infrastructure improvements are greatly needed to increase safety and promote healthy lifestyle habits such as walking and biking.

The purpose of this part is to facilitate commercial and residential development of an exceptional level of quality on land adjacent to public transportation stations and centers by creating a process and reduced up-front costs that will, in turn, act as catalytic projects for neighborhood reinvestment.

46-B Definitions. As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

"Action" or "action taken" means approval, approval with modification, or disapproval.

"Application" means the preliminary plans and specifications for an exceptional planning project and includes materials, such as plans, information, or specifications, submitted to a planning agency by a qualified developer.

"Exceptional planning project" or "project" means a project as defined by the county that is located wholly within a planning district and promotes public transit ridership.

"Legislative body" means the legislative body of the county to which a qualified developer submits an application for final approval of an exceptional planning project.

"Main-street redevelopment project" means a project designed to promote, preserve, restore, and revitalize the culture, history, architecture, economic viability, and public transit ridership of a small town or community.

"Planning agency" or "agency" means the planning agency of a county to which a qualified developer submits an application for an exceptional planning project.

"Program" means the transit-oriented or main-street redevelopment program pursuant to section 46-H, as established by the county.

"Qualified developer" means a person, corporation, organization, partnership, association, or other legal entity that is:

(1) Licensed to do business in the State; and

(2) Bonded and in good standing in an amount to be determined by the respective legislative body.

"Transit-oriented development" or "transit-oriented redevelopment" means land use projects of relatively intense concentration involving a mixture of uses that depend upon and support transit ridership.

46-C Planning districts. There are established planning districts contained within the urban district that shall consist of:

(1) A main-street redevelopment project that is:

(A) Situated in a site subject to approval by the legislature;

(B) Approved by the respective legislative body in which the project is situated; and

(C) Eligible as a community financed project or business improvement district; or

(2) A transit-oriented development within a radius, as specified by the counties pursuant to rule, of a:

(A) Bus transit station or center, as designated by the county to achieve density and ridership goals, that has existing infrastructure, public utilities, and roadways or is within a developed community; or

(B) Rail transit station, as designated by the county, located at east Kapolei, the University of Hawaii West Oahu, West Loch, Waipahu, or Leeward Community College;

provided that the designation of a planning district shall not change the land use classification of the parcel.

46-D Exceptional planning projects; application by developer; review. (a) A qualified developer may submit to a planning agency an application for approval of an exceptional planning project within a planning district. The application, excluding an application for a main-street redevelopment project, shall include a transit ridership study that demonstrates the need for development by determining the size of the service population, transportation demands, and other factors that will achieve desired transit ridership goals and overall land use density, as determined by the planning agency.

(b) The planning agency shall review the application and secure any additional information that the planning agency deems necessary for the purpose of taking action. The planning agency shall take action within forty-five days of the application being deemed complete; provided that the time to take action may be extended up to ten days for good cause. No later than fifty-five days of the application being deemed complete, the planning agency shall notify the developer of the action taken.

(c) If the planning agency approves the application, with or without modifications, the planning agency shall forward the application with its recommendation to the legislative body. The legislative body shall have forty-five days from the date of receipt of the planning agency's recommendation to approve, approve with modifications, or disapprove the application by resolution.

46-E Indemnity. No claim shall be prosecuted or maintained against any county, its officials, or employees on account of acts taken by them acting in their official capacities in reviewing, approving, modifying, or disapproving the application or plans and specifications of an exceptional planning project.

46-F State incentives; exemptions. Subject to rules adopted pursuant to sections 46-H and 46-J, exceptional planning projects approved by the legislature shall be exempt from all state fees associated with land development; provided that approval for the exemption is granted by the state agency that would otherwise receive the fee.

46-G County incentives; exemptions. Subject to rules adopted pursuant to sections 46-H and 46-J, exceptional planning projects approved by the legislative body shall receive exemptions from the zone change process and compliance with zoning standards. Additionally, a county may adopt any other incentives that it deems appropriate to be granted to exceptional planning projects.

46-H Transit-oriented or main-street redevelopment program. (a) Any county with a planning district may establish a transit-oriented or main-street redevelopment program. The program shall include:

(1) Guidelines for community-based planning for transit-oriented or main-street redevelopment;

(2) Strategies for infrastructure upgrades to support development and redevelopment;

(3) Minimum mixed use design and site plan guidelines;

(4) Guidelines for complete streets programs; and

(5) Strategies to promote public transit ridership.

(b) In developing the program, the county may establish minimum eligibility criteria for exceptional planning projects, including:

(1) Minimum and maximum project sizes;

(2) Requiring a mix of commercial and residential uses;

(3) Establishing workforce and affordable housing requirements;

(4) Proposing parking ratios below any existing required ratio and a maximum cap on the total number of parking spaces, proposing a centralized public or private parking structure, or proposing a transportation plan with innovative parking solutions;

(5) Creating street level activities, including early evening hour activities and retail and public gathering areas; and

(6) Providing community benefits, including off-site open space, on-site social services space, and major off-site infrastructure upgrades.

(c) Any county or county agency participating in the program shall consult with the department of transportation to address potential impacts on airport and harbor facilities.

(d) Any county or county agency participating in the program shall enact ordinances or adopt rules or regulations as necessary for the purposes of this section, including:

(1) Criteria for granting exemptions pursuant to sections 46-F and 46-G;

(2) Considerations, upon submission of an application for an exceptional planning project to the planning agency, regarding the existing use of lands, including zoning, location, and future impacts; and

(3) Assurances for a fair and equitable application process.

46-I Floor area ratio transfer. (a) There is established a discretionary review process to be conducted by the county legislative body, subject to the recommendation of the county planning director, for the transfer of floor area within a planning district from a sending site to a receiving site. The purpose of this process is to encourage the transfer of floor area to properties with lot dimensions that allow for additional floor area while complying with the building envelope requirements and building height requirements set forth in a county land use ordinance.

(b) The proposed creation and redemption of floor area ratio transfers shall take place solely on a voluntary basis between consenting parties. Landowners shall not be required to create or convey floor area ratio transfers; provided that floor area ratio transfers shall be created, conveyed, or redeemed in accordance with this section to be recognized by a legislative body.

(c) Floor area ratio transfers shall not involve an existing public park or open space.

(d) All requests to create, convey, and redeem floor area ratio transfer credits shall be accompanied by and occur in conjunction with the following:

(1) A project agreement, including any accompanying permit approval request, improvement permit, development permit, conditional use permit, variance, and master plan permit; and

(2) A proposal to create, convey, and redeem floor area ratio transfer credits on forms prescribed by the director of the planning agency that contain the following information:

(A) Particular to a sending site:

(i) A cover letter identifying the landowner's name, mailing address, and contact information and briefly explaining what the landowner seeks to accomplish;

(ii) A certificate of title demonstrating ownership of the proposed sending site and receiving site;

(iii) A draft covenant that provides the protections and restrictions on the proposed property;

(iv) A baseline documentation report that establishes the current condition of the proposed sending site that contains, at a minimum, a general location map, legal description and sketch of parcel boundaries, and documentation (such as maps, written summaries, and photographs) of existing conditions that relate to the proposed easement restrictions as well as the proposed rights to be retained by the landowner; and

(v) An affidavit signed by the landowner and preparer of the submittal, attesting to the accuracy of the information contained in the baseline documentation report; and

(B) Particular to a receiving site, plans, diagrams, and supporting text that clearly identify and illustrate the location and extent of proposed floor area transfer.

(e) The legislative body shall review and act upon all applications for floor area ratio transfers to create, convey, and redeem floor area ratio transfer credits after receiving a recommendation from the respective county's director of the planning agency.

(f) The legislative body shall make the following findings of fact to approve an application to create, convey, and redeem floor area ratio transfer credits:

(1) That the receiving site allows for additional floor area while complying with the building envelope requirements and the land use ordinance; and

(2) That the creation, conveyance, and redemption of floor area ratio transfer credits enable the subject lots to fulfill the development objectives of the county general or development plans.

(g) The creation, conveyance, and redemption of floor area ratio transfer credits shall be limited by the following:

(1) Floor area ratio transfer credits shall not be created or redeemed in conjunction with a variance approval to exceed any maximum building height or building footprint, or reduce any setback specified in the county land use ordinance;

(2) No more than fifty per cent of the maximum permitted floor area ratio shall be transferred from any sending site; provided that contiguous lots may transfer one hundred per cent of the maximum permitted floor area ratio; and

(3) Floor area ratio transfer credits shall be created and redeemed concurrently. No floor area ratio transfer credit may be reserved for future conveyance to a sending site.

(h) To establish floor area ratio transfer credits, the sending site landowner shall record a covenant running with the land over the sending site consistent with this section. The covenant shall:

(1) Run with the land on the sending site;

(2) Restrict the floor area ratio of the sending site to the ratio established by the transfer; and

(3) Name the planning agency as an intended beneficiary with the right to enforce the covenant.

(i) The director of the planning agency shall maintain a register of all floor area ratio transfer credits both created and redeemed pursuant to this section and shall update this register annually.

46-J Adoption of rules. A planning agency may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 that are necessary to effectuate the purposes of this part, including rules to specify materials that shall be necessary components of a complete application."

SECTION 2. In codifying the new sections added by section 1 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.


Report Title:

Hawaii Community Development Authority; State-wide Planning



Establishes planning districts and creates a process for developers to apply for residential and commercial exceptional planning projects. Establishes the transit-oriented or main-street redevelopment program. Authorizes state and county incentives for exceptional planning projects. Establishes a discretionary review process for the transfer of floor area within the planning district. Effective July 1, 2050. (SB2927 HD1)




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