Important Ag Land Meetings

SOURCE: Kenneth Taylor (
SUBHEAD: These meetings about prime agricultural lands will affect the sustainability of Kauai.  

By Ian Costa on 10 November 2010 in Island Breath -(

Image above: Sugarcane fields near Lihue in the 1980's. From (  

[Publisher's note: At the Eco-Roundtable LEGS Conference in November 2007 IslandBreath made a presentation titled Kauai Sustainable Land Use Plan. Currently there are four land uses designations: Conservation (55% of island); Agricultural (40%), Urban (4%) and Rural (1%). Our proposal was to leave Conservation, Rural and Urban in place. We would divide the Argricultural use in two. The upper elevations half, abutting the interior Conservation core, would have a new designation - Forest. Forest use would allow for the planting of food tree orchards and hardwood forests that could be used for renewable resources. Rural land would be greatly expanded. The lower elevation of current agland would be designated Rural. This area would be used for pastures, taro fields, small residential farms etc. Vehicular access would be minimized, and even denied in some places. See (]

The Planning Department has scheduled three community meetings to provide an update on the Important Agricultural Lands (IAL) Study, including the preliminary maps that have been developed, and to gather feedback from the public about the study. The meetings will be held on the following dates:

Friday, Nov. 19 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Lihue at Peace & Freedom Convention Hall  

Saturday, Nov. 20 from 9 – 11 am
Kilauea at the Neighborhood Center

Saturday, Nov. 20 from 3 – 5 pm
Waimea at the Neighborhood Center

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the University of Hawaii’s Department of Urban & Regional Planning staff that was hired to assist the county with the IAL Study. Also present at the meetings will be the Stakeholder/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), an all-volunteer group that is serving to guide the process of identifying important agricultural lands on Kauai.

 Kauai is the first county in the state to begin an IAL Study, which brings together agricultural stakeholders from around the island and utilizes the latest data and mapping tools. In 2005, the Hawaii State Legislature passed a law requiring all counties to identify and map potential important agricultural lands that meet any of the following criteria:
  • Land currently used for agricultural production.
  • Land with soil qualities and growing conditions that support agricultural production of food, fiber or fuel and energy-producing crops.
  • Land identified under agricultural productivity rating systems, such as the agricultural lands of importance to the State of Hawai'i (ALISH) adopted by the Board of Agriculture on January 28, 1977.
  • Land types associated with traditional native Hawaiian agricultural uses, such as taro cultivation, or unique agricultural crops and uses, such as coffee, vineyards, aquaculture and energy production.
  • Land with sufficient quantities of water to support viable agricultural production.
  • Land whose designation as an important agricultural land is consistent with general,
  • development and community plans of the county.
  • Land that contributes to maintaining a critical land mass important to agricultural
  • operating productivity.
  • Land with or near support infrastructure conducive to agricultural productivity, such as
  • transportation to markets, water or power.
To find out more about Kauai’s IAL study, please go to For more information about the meetings or to request materials in an alternate format or an auxiliary aid, please

Lea Kaiaokamalie with the Planning Department at (808) 241-4061 or via email: at least five business days prior to the respective meeting.

Ian Costa, Kauai Planning Director Tel (808) 241-4050 Fax (808) 241-6699 
To view Kauai County Government news release as a PDF, please click on link below. Mahalo.

See also:
Island Breath: Mauka to Makai 5/8/07
Island Breath: Kauai Township Planning 7/1/07

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