EA Published for DHHL Subsistence Ag Lots in Hilo

November 13, 2019, 2:43 PM HST (Updated November 13, 2019, 2:43 PM)
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Honomu Map. PC: DHHL

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) has issued its final Environmental Assessment (EA) with a finding of no significant impact for the Department’s Honomū Subsistence Agriculture Homestead Community in South Hilo on Hawaiʻi Island.

DHHL’s Honomū project will be the first of its kind on the island and is among expanded options the Department is working to bring beneficiaries, including the opportunity to return to the land and promote self-sufficiency through farming, a DHHL press release said.

The project proposes subsistence agriculture, supplemental agriculture, commercial and community facilities, as well as special district and conservation land.

“Honomū is a pilot project to implement the Department’s new rules for subsistence agricultural lots,” said Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William J. Aila, Jr. “These lots will allow beneficiaries to live and cultivate their land while producing locally grown food for themselves and their families, all in fulfillment of Prince Kuhio’s vision. We are excited to work with the County in advancing this subdivision. I’m certain future lessees are looking forward to joining the existing Honomū community.”

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A bid for the first phase is anticipated to go out in early 2020 after project plans are submitted to the Hawaiʻi County Planning Department in December. The project’s first phase is anticipated to cost $2 million and will include the infrastructure development for 16 one-acre subsistence agricultural homestead lots near Akaka Falls, the release continued.

In 2017, DHHL updated its Administrative Rules allowing for Subsistence Agriculture, which provides beneficiaries with more manageable lot sizes and removed the requirements of traditional agricultural lots.

The project in total is anticipated to include up to 375 lots to provide beneficiaries subsistence agriculture parcels ranging in size from one to three acres.

The EA can be read in full online.

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