Hawaii land use planning

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Hawaii was the first state in the nation to pass a statewide State Land Use Law in 1961. This pioneering law is recognized as an American Institute of Certified Planners National Historic Planning Landmark in 1991.

According to the Land Use Law, all lands in the state are classified into urban, rural, agricultural or conservation zones. The uses permitted for each district are defined in statute. The state has the sole management responsibility in the conservation district. The county governments have sole responsibility in the urban districts. Both the state and counties share responsibilities in the rural and agricultural districts.

The State Land Use Commission administers the State Land Use Law. The LUC is made up of nine appointed members. The Land Use Commission reviews and decides on individual or agency petitions to amend state land use district boundaries. The Commission ensures that state concerns delineated in the Hawaii State Plan are addressed and considered in the land use decision-making process.

The Hawaii State Office of Planning (OP) and the county planning agency are represented in all boundary amendment petitions heard by the LUC.

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