Public Hearing on Agricultural Rules Amendments Announced

December 20, 2018, 7:57 AM HST · Updated December 20, 7:57 AM
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The Maui County Planning Department will hold a public hearing on proposed revisions to the Department’s Administrative Rules for the Agricultural District. The public hearing will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 in the Makawao Elementary School Cafeteria, at 3542 Baldwin Avenue in Makawao.

The changes have been in the works for a few years, in coordination with the Agriculture Working Group that meets monthly in Makawao.  The main purpose of the proposed rule changes is to better support active farmers and ranchers while still enabling the Department to enforce against any non-compliance with the Agricultural District’s standards and restrictions.

“The Department’s past practice has been focused on curbing abuse– preventing the multi-story “barns” with travertine floors and granite countertops that are really dwellings – but this has inadvertently resulted in making permitting more difficult for real farmers and ranchers,” said Planning Director Michele McLean.  “The rules will retain our full enforcement authority, but will also clarify procedures that the Agriculture Working Group has said will help to support real agriculture in the County.”

If there are no significant changes to the Department’s proposed amendments as a result of the public hearing, the Department can finalize the amendments and present them to Mayor Alan Arakawa for signature.

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The proposed amendments can be found on the Planning Department’s website.  Under the “Hot Topics” section, the public hearing notice, the proposed rule amendments, and the proposed declaration form can be accessed.

For more information, contact the department at (808) 270-7735 or at [email protected].

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