HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1952

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to wildlife preservation.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that ninety per cent of the natural dry land habitat, sixty-one per cent of the natural mesic habitat, and forty-two per cent of the natural wetland habitat of Hawaii have been lost to development and other forms of encroachment. Additionally, fifty-eight per cent of Hawaii's perennial streams have been altered. The loss of habitat has been a contributing factor in making Hawaii known as the endangered species capital of the world. More than twenty-five per cent of the species on the nation's endangered species list are endemic to Hawaii despite Hawaii having only two tenths of a per cent of the nation's land.

The legislature further finds that wind and solar farms consume thousands of acres of land and destroy the natural habitats of gulches, prairies, and hillsides, effectively exterminating many species of plants and animals that live there or rely upon those areas for nutrients or protection.

The purpose of this Act is to designate all currently undeveloped watercourses, gulches, ravines, and streams and areas that are unsuitable for development as sanctuaries in which development is prohibited so that those lands may serve as a permanent refuge for wildlife.

SECTION 2. Chapter 195D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Part . WILDLIFE RESERVE SANCTUARIES

195D-A Definitions. As used in this part:

"Board approval" means approval by the board of land and natural resources pursuant to chapter 183C.

"Structure" includes any portion of any building, pavement, road, pipe, flume, utility line, fence, groin, wall, revetment, or solar panel stand.

195D-B Wildlife reserve sanctuaries; established; structures; wind turbines; prohibitions. (a) All lands:

(1) Within three hundred feet of the center of a aboveground natural river, stream, creek, slough, gulch, gully, valley floor, or any other naturally formed channel having a bed and sides or banks in which water flows either perennially or intermittently, regardless of whether the parts of the bed or channel have been dredged or improved, that:

(A) Are undeveloped on July 1, 2020;

(B) Have not been used for agricultural purposes at any time after June 30, 2010; and

(C) Are not subject to a pending or approved building permit; and

(2) Not suitable for development,

are hereby designated as wildlife reserve sanctuaries.

(b) No structure shall be constructed or agricultural use shall be permitted within a wildlife reserve sanctuary without board approval.

(c) No wind turbine shall be constructed on a mountain slope or hillside if the location of the wind turbine is within one thousand feet of the center of a wildlife reserve sanctuary.

195D-C Powers and duties of the department; determination of a wildlife reserve sanctuary boundary. (a) The powers and duties of the department shall include:

(1) Prescribing procedures for determining a wildlife reserve sanctuary boundary line and appeals of wildlife reserve sanctuary boundary line determinations; and

(2) Reviewing the plans of all applicants that propose any structure, activity, or facility that would be prohibited without a variance pursuant to this part. The department may require that the plans be supplemented by accurately mapped data and photographs showing natural conditions and topography relating to all existing and proposed structures and activities.

(b) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 for purpose of this part.

195D-D Enforcement of wildlife reserve sanctuary. (a) The department or an agency designated by department rules shall enforce this part and rules adopted pursuant to this part. Any structure or activity prohibited by section 195D-B that has not received a variance pursuant to this part or complied with conditions on a variance shall be removed or corrected. No other state or county permit or approval shall be construed as a variance pursuant to this part.

(b) Where a wildlife reserve sanctuary is affected by an artificial structure that has not been authorized, if any part of the structure is on private property, then for purposes of enforcement of this part, the structure shall be construed to be entirely within the wildlife reserve sanctuary.

(c) The authority of the board to determine the wildlife reserve sanctuary and enforce rules established under chapter 183C shall not be diminished by an artificial structure in violation of this part.

195D-E Variances. (a) A variance may be granted by board approval for a structure or activity otherwise prohibited in this part if the board finds in writing, based on the record presented, that the proposed structure or activity is necessary for or ancillary to:

(1) Drainage;

(2) Facilities or improvements by public agencies or public utilities regulated under chapter 269;

(3) A public facility or improvement that is for a public purpose or in the public interest;

(4) A private facility or improvement that is clearly in the public interest; or

(5) Private facilities or improvements that will not adversely affect wildlife in a wildlife reserve sanctuary; provided that the authority also finds that hardship will result to the applicant if the facilities or improvements are not allowed within the wildlife reserve sanctuary.

(b) Hardship shall be defined in rules adopted by the authority under chapter 91. Hardship shall not be determined as a result of county zoning changes, planned development permits, cluster permits, or subdivision approvals after June 30, 2020, or as a result of any other permit or approval listed in rules adopted by the authority.

(c) No variance shall be granted unless appropriate conditions are imposed to minimize the risk of adverse impacts on wildlife within the wildlife reserve sanctuary.

195D-F Wildlife reserve sanctuaries established by county. Through rules adopted pursuant to chapter 91 or ordinance, the several counties may require that a larger wildlife reserve sanctuary be established at distances greater than as established in this part.

195D-G Conflict with other laws. In case of a conflict between this part and the requirements of any other state law or county ordinance regarding a wildlife reserve sanctuary boundary line, the more restrictive requirements shall apply in furthering the purposes of this part. Nothing contained in this part shall be construed to diminish the jurisdiction of any state department; provided that applicable plans are submitted for the review and information of the officer of the respective agency charged with the administration of the county zoning laws, and are found to not conflict with any county ordinances, zoning laws, or building codes."

SECTION 3. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 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 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

wildlife Reserve Sanctuary; Conservation; Wildlife; Wind Turbines

 

Description:

Designates all currently undeveloped watercourses and lands unsuitable for development as wildlife reserve sanctuaries for which development is prohibited so that those lands may serve as a permanent refuge to wildlife. Establishes procedures to obtain a variance to construct a structure within a wildlife reserve sanctuary. Prohibits the construction of wind turbines on mountain slopes or hillsides if the location of the wind turbine is within 1,000 feet of the center of a wildlife reserve sanctuary.

 

 

 

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