Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: H.B. No. 549

H.D. 1

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 549, H.D. 1, entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to amend chapter 205A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to strengthen state policies to reduce residential exposure to coastal hazards, protect state beaches, and update statutory language for consistency.


Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources; City and County of Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency; Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; IMUAlliance; Sierra Club of Hawaii; and twenty-three individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and Building Industry Association of Hawaii. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Office of Planning and County of Kauai Department of Planning.


Your Committees find that the existing coastal zone management policies and regulations, with respect to the protection of beaches, beach access, and beach ecosystems, are inadequate to address present-day concerns, including sea level rise and other natural and human impacts. Your Committees further find that existing policies and regulations need to be updated to reconcile development along dynamic beach systems while protecting the natural environment. Your Committees also find that state coastal zone management policies should be strengthened to conserve beaches for present and future generations while reducing hazard exposure to shorefront communities.


Your Committees have amended this measure by:


(1) Defining the term "beach";


(2) Defining the term "coastal hazards" to include sea level rise, and substituting that term where appropriate;


(3) Updating objectives of the coastal zone management program relating to beach protection and policies of the coastal zone management program relating to recreational resources, economic uses, coastal hazards, and beach protection;


(4) Specifying that "development", for purposes of special management areas, does not include construction or reconstruction of a single-family residence that is not situated on a parcel that is impacted by waves, storm surges, high hide, or shoreline erosion;


(5) Deleting the provision that made section 205A-29, Hawaii Revised Statutes, inapplicable to permits for uses within the conservation district;


(6) Amending the conditions that must be met in order for a county planning commission or county council to:


(A) Waive the public hearing requirement prior to action on a shoreline setback variance application for protection of a legal structure or public facility; and


(B) Grant a shoreline setback variance for certain private facilities or improvements;


(7) Deleting language that would have excepted the inadvertent taking from the shoreline area of certain materials from the prohibition on mining or taking of certain items from the shoreline area;


(8) Making it effective on July 1, 2019; and


(9) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 549, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 549, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land,