STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1124

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 247

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 247 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL LANDS,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to amend certain land subdivision and condominium property regime laws related to agricultural land, as recommended pursuant to Act 278, Session Laws of Hawaii 2019, to ensure:

 

(1) Farm dwellings on agricultural lands are accessories to a farm, or where the agricultural activities provide income of no less than $10,000 per year to the family occupying the dwelling, and verified by general excise tax return filing or agricultural tax dedication;

 

(2) Structures on subdivided leasehold subdivisions of agricultural land are subject to county enforcement authority; and

 

(3) Applications for registration of condominium property regimes of agricultural land include county comments regarding the availability of supportive infrastructure, any potential impact on government plans and resources, other requirements pursuant to county ordinances and rule, and the developer's public report pursuant to section 514B-52, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Real Estate Commission; Office of Planning; City and County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting; Ulupono Initiative LLC; Kauai Kunana Dairy; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; Hawaii Farm Bureau; and six individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from twenty-two individuals and a petition signed by seven hundred fifty-six individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Taxation.

 

Your Committees find that designating land for agricultural uses can increase the long-term sustainability of local agricultural production. Your Committees further find that to ensure that agricultural lands are being utilized appropriately, the Legislature enacted Act 278, Session Laws of Hawaii 2019, which directed the Office of Planning, in consultation with other agencies, to study land subdivision and condominium property regime laws relating to agricultural lands. As a result, the Office of Planning submitted recommendations to the Legislature on how to better enforce requirements that agricultural lands are used for agricultural purposes.

 

Your Committees further find that the State must ensure that agricultural lands are being used for agriculture and improve its enforcement of requirements that agricultural uses are taking place on agricultural lands. This measure amends certain land subdivision and condominium property regime laws related to agricultural land, as recommended by the Office of Planning in its study of subdivision and condominium property regimes on agricultural lands on Oahu to ensure agricultural lands that are organized under a condominium property regime are used for agricultural purposes. In addition, this measure allows meaningful county input in the condominium property regime process involving agricultural lands to ensure availability of necessary supportive infrastructure and identify and mitigate any potential negative impacts to environmentally or culturally significant resources.

 


Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Removing the requirement of farm dwellings to generate income of no less than $10,000 per year for families occupying the dwelling; and

 

(2) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion.

 

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. 247, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 247, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection and Ways and Means.

 

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

 

________________________________

LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair