Hawaii (Oahu) Zoning, Special Use and Building Permits

By
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Liberty Homes RS-#62825

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 DIVISION MASTER APPLICATION FORM
PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE MAP REVISION APPLICATION

  

Posted by

                                                       

 

Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.

 

 © 2007-2014 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.

     

 


 

 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the printer to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Location:
Hawaii Honolulu County Honolulu Honolulu Hawaii Relocations
Groups:
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
Tags:
honolulu information
honolulu real estate
hawaii zoning laws

Comments 9 New Comment

Rainmaker
201,028
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
knitwit at thred UP
thredUP.com
Both kids keep me busy. My daughter is 10 and my son is 19 months. Can't wait, taking both to DisneyWorld for the first time in July!
May 02, 2007 08:20 PM
Ambassador
1,019,304
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Century 21 Liberty Homes
Steph:  I made it to Disneyland for the first time when I was 21!  I hope you all have a good time!
May 02, 2007 08:23 PM
Rainmaker
617,627
Randy Prothero
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645
Island Style Realty Inc.
The percentage of land designated for urban use is even smaller on the neighbor islands.
May 03, 2007 01:26 AM
Rainer
97,765
Danny Smith
DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES
Sally, I would suspect being in such a confined area (Island) and of such historical significance that Hawaii probably has lots and lots of restrictions and zoning laws!
May 03, 2007 08:00 AM
Ambassador
1,019,304
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Century 21 Liberty Homes

Randy:  My mom is from Kauai...the Garden Isle.  You think there is a smaller percentage of buildable land there ?  haha.

Danny:  Lots and lots!

May 03, 2007 11:17 AM
Ambassador
1,019,304

Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman

RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
GET AN ANSWER NOW!
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the pencil to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information

Reading my blog will give you the human side of this Real Estate Industry Professional as well as allowing you to walk beside me through my writing about Hawaii Real Estate & our Local Area. As a resident of Honolulu County Hawaii for 42 years you will get a tour of a lifetime. Specializing in Hawaii Relocation Military VA Home Buyers you can be rest assured you will be in good hands. I LISTEN to YOUR needs and give you sound advice. Hawaii Relocations, Hawaii Military Relocations, Mililani Hawaii Real Estate, Living in Hawaii, Army Navy Air Force Marines in Hawaii. Read more at www.cheesemanhomes.com