HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO RURAL DISTRICTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that, given the need for additional local housing, the counties should be permitted to adopt ordinances to allow dwellings on each quarter-acre, which will provide flexibility to address this important issue. Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to allow the counties to determine the appropriateness of allowing dwellings on each quarter-acre, rather than half-acre, of lands in rural districts; provided that the ordinances are consistent with the county general plan and community development plan.
SECTION 2. Section 205-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:
1. By amending subsection (a) to read:
"(a) There shall be four major land use districts in which all lands in the State shall be placed: urban, rural, agricultural, and conservation. The land use commission shall group contiguous land areas suitable for inclusion in one of these four major districts. The commission shall set standards for determining the boundaries of each district, provided that:
(1) In the establishment of boundaries of urban districts, those lands that are now in urban use and a sufficient reserve area for foreseeable urban growth shall be included;
the establishment of boundaries for rural districts, areas of land composed
primarily of small farms mixed with very low density residential lots, which
may be shown by a minimum density of not more than one house per [
one-quarter acre and a minimum lot size of not less than one-half acre
shall be included, except as herein provided;
(3) In the establishment of the boundaries of agricultural districts, the greatest possible protection shall be given to those lands with a high capacity for intensive cultivation; and
(4) In the establishment of the boundaries of conservation districts, the "forest and water reserve zones" provided in Act 234, section 2, Session Laws of Hawaii 1957, are renamed "conservation districts" and, effective as of July 11, 1961, the boundaries of the forest and water reserve zones theretofore established pursuant to Act 234, section 2, Session Laws of Hawaii 1957, shall constitute the boundaries of the conservation districts; provided that thereafter the power to determine the boundaries of the conservation districts shall be in the commission.
In establishing the boundaries of the districts in each county, the commission shall give consideration to the master plan or general plan of the county."
2. By amending subsection (c) to read:
Rural districts shall include activities or uses as characterized by low
density residential lots of not more than one dwelling house per [
one-quarter acre, except as provided by county ordinance pursuant to section
46-4(c)[ ,] and provided that each dwelling house shall be consistent with
the county general plan and community development plans, in areas where
"city-like" concentration of people, structures, streets, and urban
level of services are absent, and where small farms are intermixed with low
density residential lots except that within a subdivision, as defined in section
484-1, the commission for good cause may allow one lot of less than one‑half
acre, but not less than [ eighteen
thousand five hundred square feet,] one-quarter acre, or an equivalent residential density, within
a rural subdivision and permit the construction of one dwelling on [ such]
the lot; provided that all other dwellings in the subdivision shall have
a minimum lot size of one-half acre or 21,780 square feet. Such petition for variance may be processed
under the special permit procedure.
These districts may include contiguous areas which are not suited to low
density residential lots or small farms by reason of topography, soils, and other
related characteristics. Rural districts
shall also include golf courses, golf driving ranges, and golf-related facilities.
In addition to the uses listed in this subsection, rural districts shall include geothermal resources exploration and geothermal resources development, as defined under section 182‑1, and construction and operation of wireless communication antenna, as defined under section 205-4.5(a)(18), as permissible uses."
SECTION 3. Section 205-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
"(c) Unless authorized by special permit issued pursuant to this chapter, only the following uses shall be permitted within rural districts:
(1) Low density residential uses;
(2) Agricultural uses;
(3) Golf courses, golf driving ranges, and golf-related facilities;
(4) Public, quasi-public, and public utility facilities; and
(5) Geothermal resources exploration and geothermal resources development, as defined under section 182-1.
addition, the minimum lot size for any low density residential use shall be
one-half acre and there shall be but one dwelling house per [
acre[ ,]; provided that each dwelling house shall be consistent with the
county general plan and community development plan, except as provided for
in section 205-2."
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.
Rural Districts; Dwellings; County Ordinances
Authorizes the counties to adopt ordinances that allow up to one dwelling per quarter-acre in rural districts. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.