I have had MANY inquiries from potential buyer's regarding their buying vacant land on Oahu and I have had to educate them on the zoning laws in Hawaii. Most of them assume they could just come in and buy a bunch of land and start building. Not the case!
For one, our Hawaiian Islands just have so much land on each island. We also have to look out for Restricted Conservation, Restricted Preservation, Agricultural, Country, Beachfront and all the different types of Residential zoning and follow all guidelines with the application for building, rezoning, CPR's etc. We have zoning and building permit "police" and they strictly enforce our laws.
The bottom line is this. All permits, applications and so forth are all reviewed to serve and first consider the well being of the people of Hawaii and our communities.
We respect our Hawaiian culture, environment and those issues that may affect our lands.
A very useful site for permits, the land use ordinance and so forth is http://gis.hicentral.com/
The following are a couple of examples of what a Use Permit may entail (all titles are linked to the page for additional info)
|STATE SPECIAL USE PERMIT (SUP)
A Special Use Permit allows the use of land within the State Agricultural or Rural District for "certain unusual and reasonable uses...other than those for which the district is classified." The Planning Commission has the authority to approve or deny the Permit if the amount of land is 15 acres or less. If the amount of land is more than 15 acres, the Planning Commission makes a recommendation on the permit and sends it to the State Land Use Commission for approval or denial
Map of Oahu for State Land Use:
Map of City and County of Honolulu Special Zoning:
|ZONE CHANGE and link to Land Use Ordinance (LUO)
A zone change is an amendment, adopted by ordinance, to the original ordinance adopted by the City Council to establish the affected zoning map. Zone changes can involve changes from one zoning district to another, a change in height indicated on a zoning map, or an amendment to an existing Unilateral Agreement. The Land Use Ordinance (LUO) provides a list of zoning districts and precinct and the permitted uses and structures for each district and precinct.
The LUO (Land Use Ordinance) The purpose of the LUO is to regulate land use in a manner that will encourage orderly development in accordance with adopted land use policies, including the Oahu general plan and development plans, and topromote and protect the public health, safety and welfare.
I have done so much research on zoning and building laws and there is still so much more to learn. Make sure and do your due diligence before buying a piece of property that may be in a Special District or Zone. You could be buying something you may not be able to do a whole lot with besides what is already on the land. Even then, it could have been "grandfathered" in (before our zoning laws were clear) and if the house on the land is from the 1920's then you may not tear it down and rebuild unless you are rebuilding with the same footprints. And even then, may only be able to add on a little past that if even.
If you want to download or check out different permits that may help you to understand a little more:
- Planning Permits
- Zoning and Land Use Permits
- Construction and Building Permits
- Engineering and Subdivision Permits