STAND. COM. REP. NO. 364
RE: S.B. No. 755
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 Housing, to which was referred S.B. No. 755 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish an agricultural housing task force to analyze and provide recommendations that would streamline existing laws, rules, and processes to authorize the construction of safe and sanitary on-farm housing units for residential use within agricultural districts, on farms that are engaged in agricultural production.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from one member of the Hawai‘i County Council; Hawai‘i Farm Bureau; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council; Hawaii Coffee Association; Our Revolution Hawaii; O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; GMO Free Kaua‘i; Kokuakats Farm; Hawaii Farmer's Union; Ulupono Initiative; We Are One, Inc.; Hawai‘i Center for Food Safety; Momilani Farm; Ka Ohana O Na Pua; Greenleaf Farm; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; A‘a Li‘i Farm; and over one hundred individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Office of Planning, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and Land Use Commission.
Your Committees find that existing laws governing construction of on-farm housing units are complicated, confusing, and vary across the State. On-farm housing units must comply with different layers of regulations at the federal level and laws and rules at the state and county levels.
Your Committees further find that many of the laws and rules governing construction of traditional residential housing units are ill-suited to the demands and economic realities of working farms. These existing laws, rules, and processes preclude farms from providing safe, sanitary, and affordable on-farm housing units to attract and retain farm workers, and stand as an obstacle to the State's agricultural self-sufficiency.
Your Committees additionally find that affordable, safe, and sanitary on-farm housing units are critical for working farms to attract and retain long-term and short-term farm workers in Hawaii.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Directing the task force to give special consideration to modular housing as a solution;
(2) Establishing an additional objective of the task force to create a separate legal designation, as it relates to zoning, for homes with a permanent foundation and modular homes without a permanent foundation;
(3) Replacing the phrase "housing units for residential use on farms" with "employee housing" throughout the measure, for the purpose of clarity; and
(4) 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 Housing that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 755, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 755, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Housing,
STANLEY CHANG, Chair
MIKE GABBARD, Chair