Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2023


RE: H.B. No. 996

H.D. 1





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. 996 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose of this measure is to:


(1) Repeal the provision for farm dwelling and farm employee housing on Important Agricultural Lands; and


(2) Adopts a new provision for farm cluster housing as an incentive for the designation of lands as Important Agricultural Lands.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Chief Housing Officer; Office of the Governor; Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Department of Agriculture; Office of Planning and Sustainable Development; and Hawaii Farm Bureau. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.


Your Committee finds that the lack of affordable housing for farmers and farm labor is an impediment to increasing food and non-food agricultural production in Hawaii. Your Committee further finds there is still a need for a means to develop housing for farmers and farm employees on lands designated as Important Agricultural Lands that reduces the cost and time required to supply housing and ensures that the housing is used in conjunction with and located on an active farm and occupied by bona fide farmers and farm employees. This measure is intended to provide a clear limited incentive to designate productive agricultural lands as Important Agricultural Lands.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Clarifying that the agricultural plan and agricultural tax dedication verification shall be submitted to the appropriate county agency for review and comment, and may be submitted to the Department of Agriculture for review and comment, before county action on the application;


(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.


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. 996, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 996, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water & Land,