HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1363

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO SHORELINES.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the global sea level has risen over the past century, and that the rate of this rise has accelerated in recent decades. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the global mean sea level in 2019 was about 3.4 inches higher than it was in 1993. With continued ocean and atmospheric warming, sea levels are expected to rise at even higher rates during centuries to come. In fact, studies have predicted that under a "business as usual" scenario where greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate of increase, sea levels could rise as high as 3.2 feet by the year 2060.

The legislature further finds that, as an island state, Hawaii is disproportionately susceptible to the impacts of sea level rise. For example, deadly and destructive storm surges from hurricanes and other tropical cyclones will push farther inland that they once did. In addition, coastal flooding from storms and seasonal swells will become much more frequent.

According to the sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report, which was released by the Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation commission in December 2017, a rise in sea level of 3.2 feet will cause six thousand five hundred structures to be lost across the State while displacing twenty thousand residents, resulting in over $19,000,000,000 in damages to property and structures. The legislature finds that the State must be prepared for the drastic impact higher sea levels will have on coastal communities.

Considering the potential impacts of the forecasted rise in sea level, the legislature also finds that the board of land and natural resources' current policy of authorizing long-term shoreline encroachment easements is not sustainable. Specifically, it is not in the public interest to authorize easements with durations in excess of fifty years when the structures on the easements could be submerged by the time the easement expires. Given the uncertainty and fluidity of the impacts of sea level rise, the legislature finds that it would be reasonable for the board of land and natural resources to authorize easements that do not exceed ten years, as this time period will enable the department of land and natural resources to better assess sea level rise and its impacts on specific properties. The legislature concludes that the board of land and natural resources must expeditiously update its policies to require the impacts of sea level rise to be considered when granting or renewing shoreline encroachment easements.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Require the board of land and natural resources to adopt a policy for the granting or renewal of shoreline encroachment easements that takes into consideration the impact of sea level rise on the shoreline encroachment;

(2) Prohibit the board of land and natural resources from granting new shoreline encroachment easements or renewing any existing shoreline encroachment easement for more than a period of two years until the new rules are adopted; and

(3) Prohibit the board of land and natural resources from granting or renewing any shoreline encroachment easement for a term of more than ten years.

SECTION 2. Chapter 171, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"171- Shoreline encroachment easements. (a) No later than January 1, 2022, the board shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 that establish a policy and procedure for the granting or renewal of shoreline encroachment easements to landowners to enable landowners to remove or relocate a shoreline encroachment landward of the shoreline setback line. The rules shall require the board to consider:

(1) The impact of the expected sea level rise on the shoreline encroachment, as provided in subsection (c);

(2) The public policies of protection and preservation of the shoreline, the beach processes and lateral access along the shoreline, and the long-term risks to life and property from coastal hazards, including a consideration of how these hazards will change over time due to climate change and sea level rise; and

(3) The objectives and policies of the coastal zone management program under section 205A-2.

(b) The board shall not grant any new shoreline encroachment easement or renew any existing shoreline encroachment easement until the rules required by subsection (a) are adopted; provided that the board may renew an existing shoreline encroachment easement for a period of not more than two years for the limited purpose of allowing an expiring easement to continue until the rules required by subsection (a) are adopted; provided further that the board shall not grant any renewal pursuant to this subsection after July 1, 2022.

(c) For each request for a new shoreline encroachment easement or the renewal of an existing shoreline encroachment easement pursuant to subsection (a), the board shall take into consideration the impact of expected sea level rise on the shoreline encroachment being examined. If the board approves a shoreline encroachment easement after taking these impacts into consideration, the board shall include with the easement any restrictions or conditions that the board deems necessary and proper to mitigate the impact of the sea level rise, including the removal or relocation of the shoreline encroachment.

(d) An easement approved pursuant to this section shall be for a time period that is reasonable in consideration of the timing of the expected sea level rise; provided that the board shall not approve or renew any shoreline encroachment easement for a term exceeding ten years.

(e) The grant or renewal of an easement pursuant to this section shall not be construed as state ownership of the shoreline encroachment.

(f) For the purposes of this section:

"Landowner" means a person who owns a coastal property with a shoreline encroachment that is at least partially seaward of the shoreline.

"Shoreline" shall have the same meaning as in section
205A-1.

"Shoreline encroachment" means a structure located seaward of the shoreline on public land.

"Shoreline encroachment easement" means an easement granted by the board that includes a shoreline encroachment.

"Shoreline setback line" and "structure" shall have the same meanings as in section 205A-41."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

BLNR; Shoreline Encroachments; Easements

 

Description:

Authorizes the board of land and natural resources to provide shoreline encroachment easements that do not exceed 10 years to landowners having structures that encroach on the shoreline. Requires the board of land and natural resources to adopt rules that establish a policy and procedure for the granting or renewal of shoreline encroachment easements. Requires the adopted policy to consider the impact of expected sea level rise on the encroaching structures. Prohibits the granting of any new shoreline encroachment easements until the new policy is adopted.

 

 

 

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