City to hold final Important Ag Lands community meeting

Which land is in, which land is out?

Will Caron

The Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) will hold its final community meeting on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, to present its recommendations for lands to be included as O‘ahu Important Agricultural Lands (IAL).

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the ‘Aiea Intermediate School Cafeteria at 99-600 Kulawea St.

The public, particularly landowners who received a notice from the DPP that their property is proposed for IAL inclusion or exclusion, is encouraged to attend.

The DPP will explain what lands are being recommended for IAL inclusion/exclusion. The DPP anticipates sending the draft IAL map to the City Council for consideration by February 2018. The Council will then make a recommendation to the state Land Use Commission for adoption.

Each county is required by the Hawai‘i Constitution to identify and map lands that have the potential for designation as IAL according to standards, criteria and procedures established under state law. The intent of IAL is to ensure that the best of O‘ahu’s high-quality farm land is protected and preserved for long-term agricultural use. Developments have already broken ground on some land that, objectively, should have been considered IAL.

If food security is truly a priority for the city and the state, as it must be, then any and all land that is capable of successfully growing food should be included. With prime Ag land at Ho‘opili and Koa Ridge now rendered unusable, this issue is more critical than ever.