Public asked to weigh in on update project for Hawai‘i County zoning, subdivision codes

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Zoning and subdivision codes. Sounds boring, right?

But zoning protects the health, safety and welfare of the public and property owners. Proper zoning also promotes a livable, built environment identified in Hawai‘i County’s general plan. Zoning code helps ensure incompatible land uses are not located next to each other. It can assist property owners with identifying what can and cannot be built on their property and how properties can be used.

Zoning code also can influence the character and scale of development. It is a key tool for implementing visions laid out by County plans, including the general plan and community development plans.

Hawai‘i County is reviewing and updating its zoning and subdivision codes and is asking the public to weigh in. Two community open house events are planned this week for Big Island residents and property owners to provide input to help shape development on the island and better understand how zoning can be used to accomplish plan goals.


The meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • 5-7 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Old Kona Airport Park pavilion, 75-5560 Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona.
  • 5-7 p.m. Oct. 20 at the mayor’s office atrium, 25 Aupuni St., Hilo.

The intent of the code updates is to increase consistency and predictability, incorporate best practices in land use and zoning, promote desirable and equitable development and meet the needs of the Big Island community. The review and update process is estimated to take about 18 months and will include several rounds of community engagement.

The last time the the zoning code and subdivision code were reviewed and updated was in 1996 and 1983, respectively. The Hawai‘i Land Use Law, which created a framework for state and county land use regulation, was adopted in 1961.


Zoning is a regulatory tool that addresses the type, density, manner and location of development and use of land and structures. The codes are being reviewed to bring them up to date with current standards, eliminate conflicting policies and make them more user-friendly for the public and County agencies.

For more information, visit the project website You can also join the email list to receive updates and information about the project.

For any other questions, contact April Surprenant at the Hawai‘i County Planning Department by calling 808-961-8148 or send an email to [email protected].


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