S.B. NO.














relating to university districts.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the university of Hawaii includes three university campuses and seven community college campuses located in four counties across the State. Each county has unique zoning ordinances and planning and permitting processes. Furthermore, each county has its own decision-making entities, including various departments and agencies, boards and commissions, and county councils.

In addition to the universityꞌs educational functions, campuses also have a variety of other functions, including those functions that serve the university or college community and other functions that serve to enhance the campus's overall educational experience. These jurisdictional variations lead to inconsistent regulatory processes across campuses, which makes it difficult to strategically assess the benefits of the university of Hawaii system as a whole to the people the system serves.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Provide a framework that supports consistent land use planning and development across the university of Hawaii system; and

(2) Authorize project partnerships with certain qualified persons.

SECTION 2. Chapter 304A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new subpart to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:


304A- Definitions. As used in this subpart:

"Campus" means contiguous parcels of real property, held by the university or in partnership with a qualified person, that comprise the university campuses at Manoa, Hilo, West Oahu, and each of the seven community colleges. Contiguous parcels include parcels separated by a public or private highway or trail.

"Conservation district" has the same meaning as provided in section 205-2.

"County" means any county of the State.

"Project" means a specific work or improvement that is acquired, owned, constructed, reconstructed, rehabilitated, or improved by the university or in partnership with a qualified person. For purposes of this paragraph, "work or improvement" may include real and personal properties or any interest therein.

"Public agency" means any office, department, board, commission, bureau, division, public corporation, agency, or instrumentality of the federal, state, or county government.

"Qualified person" includes any individual, partnership, corporation, or public agency possessing:

(1) The competence, expertise, experience, and resources, including financial, personnel, and tangible resources, required for the purposes of a project; and

(2) Any other qualifications that may be deemed desirable by the university in administering this subpart.

"Real property" means lands, structures, and interests in land, including lands under water and riparian rights, space rights, and air rights, and any and all other things and rights usually included within the term. Real property also means any and all interests in the property less than full title, such as easements, incorporeal hereditaments, and every estate, interest, or right, legal or equitable, including terms for years and liens thereon by way of judgments, mortgages, or otherwise.

304A- Designation of university districts; campus development plans. (a) The president may propose that a campus be designated as a university district to the board of regents. The designation shall describe the boundaries of the district. Upon receipt of a proposal, the board of regents may designate the proposed campus a university district.

(b) A university district shall not include real property that is:

(1) Not held by the university or in partnership with a qualified person, or

(2) Located within a conservation district.

(c) After designation, the president shall develop a campus development plan for the designated district. The campus development plan shall include but not be limited to campus development guidance policies and a campus capital improvement program. The development plan shall support the purposes of this chapter. The president shall present the proposed campus development plan to the board of regents for their consideration and adoption.

(d) Whenever possible, planning activities of the university shall be coordinated with affected public agencies, and consideration shall be given to state and county plans adopted under chapter 226.

(e) Chapter 91 shall not apply to the designation of a university district or the adoption of a campus development plan pursuant to this section.

304A- Campus development rules. (a) After adoption of a campus development plan, the board of regents shall establish campus development rules pursuant to chapter 91. The rules shall address health, safety, building, planning, zoning, and land use. Rules adopted under this section shall follow existing county rules, ordinances, and regulations as closely as is consistent with standards meeting minimum requirements of good design, pleasant amenities, health, safety, and coordinated development.

(b) At least one public hearing shall be held on the island where the proposed university district is located.

(c) Upon its effective date, campus development rules shall supersede all other inconsistent county ordinances and rules relating to the use, zoning, planning, and development of land and construction thereon. Campus development rules shall not supersede or replace state rules or laws.

304A- Developments within special management areas and shoreline setback. (a) Notwithstanding chapter 205A, all requests for development within a special management area and shoreline setback variances for development on any lands within a university district, for which a campus development plan has been adopted, shall be submitted to and reviewed by the lead agency as defined in chapter 205A. In university districts for which a campus development plan has not been adopted, parts II and III of chapter 205A shall continue to be administered by the applicable county authority until a campus development plan for the university district takes effect.

(b) In the review of requests to the lead agency under subsection (a), the lead agency shall conform to the following, as deemed appropriate:

(1) Applicable county rules adopted in accordance with section 205A-26 for the review of developments within a special management area, except section
205A-26(2)(C) shall not apply; and

(2) Part III of chapter 205A and applicable county rules for the review of developments within the shoreline setback.

(c) With the approval of the lead agency, the developments may be allowed without a special management area permit or shoreline setback variance as required by chapter 205A."

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.








Report Title:

UH; Planning; University Districts



Provides a framework that supports consistent land use planning and development across the university of Hawaii system. Authorizes project partnerships with certain qualified persons.




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