Special Permit requirements for Farmers Markets

From: Graham Ellis
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2012 8:06 AM
To: Jeff Darrow
Planning Dept.

RE: Special Permit requirements for Farmers Markets and Community Buildings on land zoned Ag.

Dear Jeff,
Following our  Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance meeting yesterday l am writing to request your feedback on two further questions.

Regarding Ordinance 96-160 Chapter 25 Zoning
under Section 25-4-11 (c) it states “Community, public, and public service buildings, Public uses, structures and buildings and community buildings are permitted uses in any district provided (they conform to the general plan) and the director has issued plan approval for such use.

1. Does this mean that the Director can approve such plans ‘without’ the need for a Special Permit? Please clarify.

In Article 5 zoning District Regulations ‘Community Buildings’ are listed as permitted uses without need for a Special Permit in almost every zone except Section 25-5-72 Agricultural. At the Planning Commission meeting May 3rd the Planning Director said that it is an anomaly that Farmers Markets are not permitted uses on land zoned Ag and require Special Permits.
Mr. Ellis,

The following are responses to your questions:

Question No. 1:

The Planning Director cannot approve a use if the use requires a Special Permit under State Law, as in the case of community centers located in the State Land Use Agricultural District.

Additionally, Chapter 25-4-11 is currently incorrect.  These uses are not permitted in any district, as noted in Section 25-5-72, which lists Community Buildings needing a Special Permit in the County Ag and State Land Use Ag Districts.

Question No. 2

Even if a change was done in the County Zoning Code to allow community centers and farmers markets in the County Agricultural zoned districts, they would still require a Special Permit if the use is located within the State Land Use Agricultural District.  A change would need to take place in Chapter 205-4.5 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, as amended (permissible uses in the Agricultural District).


Jeffrey Darrow, Planner
County of Hawaii Planning Department


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