COM. REP. NO. 432
RE: H.B. No. 994
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Water & Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 994 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LAND USE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Require the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development to perform a study to refine rural district policies, identify strategies for expansion of the rural district, and submit reports of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature; and
(2) Appropriate funds for the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development to perform the study and complete all required reports.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Department of Agriculture; Office of Planning and Sustainable Development; Maui County Farm Bureau; and Hawai‘i Farm Bureau. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.
Your Committee finds that the State and counties have not made
effective use of the state rural land use district. Currently, there are 10,454 acres in the
rural district, which amount to 0.3 percent of all lands in the State, and
there are no rural district lands on Oahu. Your Committee further finds that redefinition and
expansion of the rural district will enable better land use management of
existing rural settlements and rural centers and residential dwellings engaged
in subsistence or lifestyle agriculture, which are not explicitly permitted in
the agricultural district.
Committee notes that the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development
completed a state land use review of districts in January 2022. The review found that the potential for
preserving much of the State's open space, rural communities, and working lands
may be realized by redefining the policy framework for the rural district and
facilitating the reclassification of lands from the agricultural to the rural
district to accommodate existing settlements where lifestyle and subsistence
farms predominate. Your Committee
believes that further refinement of rural district policies and strategies to
expand the rural district are needed to reach those potentials.
Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the appropriation to an unspecified amount;
(2) Changing the effective date to June 30, 3000, to encourage further discussion; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
Your Committee respectfully requests your Committee on Finance, should it deliberate on this measure, to consider an appropriation amount of $300,000.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water & Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 994, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 994, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water & Land,
LINDA ICHIYAMA, Chair