Frequently Asked Questions
Contact the State Land Use Commission (LUC) at 587-3822 for an official determination regarding a Boundary Interpretation.
It means that the state has imposed development restrictions on the land in order to conserve, protect, or preserve the important natural resources of the islands. The Conservation District is divided into subzones, each with a limited number of permitted identified uses. Depending on the subzone and the project, you might need site plan approval from the Department of Natural Resources, a departmental permit, or a board permit and an approved management plan. Many projects also require an Environmental Assessment (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
If the parcel is wholy or partly in the Conservation District, you should write the OCCL and make a Request for Information. The request must include the parcel's Tax Map Key (TMK), your name, and a return address; it should also include other contact numbers, existing structures and uses, and any proposed new structures and uses. The OCCL will respond to you within thirty days with information regarding the parcel's Conservation District subzone and identified uses, the level of permitting required for the proposal, and any history we have of prior correspondence, existing site plan approvals, or past Conservation District Use Applications.
Every parcel of land in the state has a unique Tax Map Key [TMK] number. The TMK format is (division) zone-section-plat: parcel:lot number. The division code [O`ahu=1, Maui=2, Hawai`i=3, Kaua`i=4] and the lot number are not always written.
You can look up TMK's by address on your county's Real Property Assessment Division website (Maui, O`ahu, Kaua`i, Hawai`i), or call the offices directly. The DEBDT website also contains TMK information as a GIS layer.
The Conservation District has five subzones: protective, limited, resource, general and special. Omitting the special subzone, the four subzones are arranged in a hierarchy of environmental sensitivity, ranging from the most environmentally sensitive (protective) to the least sensitive (general). The special subzone is applied in special cases specifically to allow a unique land use on a specific site. Each subzone has a unique set of identified land uses.
The subzones define a set of identified land uses which may be allowed by discretionary permit. These are outlined in Chapter 13-5 Subchapter 3 of the Hawai`i Administrative Rules. The OCCL can only accept a permit application for these identified land uses.
A Conservation District Use Application (CDUA) is a minor or major permitting process that will require the approval of either the Chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources or the Board of Land and Natural Resources prior to the start of the project.
Chapter 13-5 Subchapter 4 of the Hawai`i Administrative Rules, lists the varying types of permits required for each land use. A project might require a site plan approval from the DLNR chair or their representative, a departmental permit approved by the chair, or a comprehensive review and permit from the DLNR board. Unique circumstances might allow for a temporary vaariance or an emergency permit. Projects with the greatest impact might also require public hearings and/or an Environmental Assessment or Enivironmental Impact Statement.
If the proposed land use is not identified in the Hawai`i Administrative Rules then OCCL will not accept the CDUA. An applicant may then request a temporary variance, petition the land use commission for a district boundary change, or initiate an administrative rule amendment to have the proposed use added to the identified land use.
11. The City and County of Honolulu , Planning and Permitting Department says my land is P-1 and I should contact DLNR. What does that mean?
P-1 means preservation in the City’s zoning regime. This is land located within the state's Conservation District.
This means that the parcel lies within the boundary of two districts (agricultural, urban, rural, or conservation). You should contact the Land Use Commission for a Boundary Interpretation. This will identify which part of the subject parcel will lies within the Conservation District.
Although it is your land, there are applicable zoning laws that apply for the State of Hawai`i for lands located in the Conservation District. In this case 183C, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), and Chapter 13-5, Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) govern the Conservation District. If you do not get approval or the type of permit required, you may be in violation of Chapter 183C HRS, and Chapter 13-5 HAR.
You could be subject to fines of up to $2,000 per day, in addition to administrative costs incurred by the department. It is possible that someone will complain and a Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Officer (DOCARE) may contact you to conduct a site inspection.
Yes, all the correspondences, site plan approvals, and submitted CDUA’s are available for the general public to view. To expedite this request please contact the OCCL before coming in, with the TMK number of the subject parcel you want information on. If the file is available we will pull it for you and have it waiting.