The Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) will hold two community meetings in January to present the draft O‘ahu Important Agricultural Lands (IAL) maps. Each meeting will run from 6–8:30 p.m. and the public, particularly landowners who received a notice from the DPP that their property is proposed for IAL designation, is encouraged to attend at least one meeting. The DPP sent notices to 2,000 landowners that their land is being recommended for IAL.
The meeting schedule is as follows:
Jan. 10, Kapolei Middle School Cafeteria, 91-5335 Kapolei Parkway
Jan. 17, Hale‘iwa Elementary School Cafeteria, 66-505 Hale‘iwa Road
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.
An IAL designation provides a landowner access to incentives that are intended to assist farmers in their agricultural activity. IAL also makes it more difficult to develop agricultural land for non-agricultural uses because a change in the IAL designation would require a two-thirds vote of approval by the state Land Use Commission (LUC).
Once the maps are finalized, the DPP will forward its recommendation to the City Council for action. Final approval for lands to be designated as IAL is under the jurisdiction of the LUC. For more information, see www.mapoahuagland.com.