City and County of Honolulu, Department of Planning and Permitting
The identification and designation of Important Agricultural Lands (IAL) was first proposed during the 1978 Constitutional Convention. The proposed constitutional amendment was subsequently approved by voters in the same year and enacted as Article XI, Section, 3, of the Constitution of the State of Hawai‘i. As a result, the State has a legal responsibility to promote agriculture and the conservation of productive agricultural lands in the State. In 2005 and 2008, the Hawaii State Legislature passed two bills that among other things, provided the framework for counties to identify IAL in their respective counties by identifying eight criteria to be used when reviewing land for IAL consideration and outlining the process counties could use to evaluate agricultural land.
HHF Planners (HHF) was selected by the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Planning and Permitting to implement this process, which would ultimately result in the submittal of Draft IAL maps to the Honolulu City Council for their consideration, and eventual transmittal to the State Land Use Commission for adoption.
As part of the project, HHF worked with a Technical Advisory (TAC) comprised of experts in diverse agricultural fields to operationalize and map the eight criteria. HHF also conducted focus group meetings with a broad range of community, government, agricultural industry and native Hawaiian representatives to solicit input on the process and best methods to use for broader community outreach. HHF developed a project website that allowed webpage visitors to manipulate layers of information that allowed viewers to appreciate how the criteria were mapped.