How Difficult Is It To Change Zoning In Hawaii?

Real estate development and zoning go hand in hand.  What’s involved in changing the zoning designation for a given property? We discuss that here.

This short clip came from our Aloha Friday Hawaii Real Estate Show which goes live every other Friday on our Hawaii Real Estate YouTube channel or our Living in Hawaii Facebook page

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we’ve got a question here from the hot
spot kauna kakai uh is it extremely
difficult to get zoning changed i’m
interested in a property that is
currently zoned as industrial but i want
to develop it with condos a gas station
and a strip mall
well you know um
zoning rezoning in hawaii is something
akin to an act of god that’s that’s what
i know uh and i’m seeing some some heads
nodding over there um anybody wanna uh
now the hot spot kanaka kano kakai’s on
moloka’i are you looking at doing a
rezoning on molokai i would think that
that’s like a whole next level that’s
got to be a next level of rezoning
effort to get that done but let’s just
kind of call it generically uh just on a
scale of one to one to five where one is
like it’s a piece of cake file a form in
your rezone and five is like no way in
hell jose uh how would you rate the
difficulty of rezoning let’s do scott
and then dylan and then heidi rezoning
scott i’d say it depends if you’re if
you’re down zoning
um then it’s then it’s not that
difficult if you’re trying to go upwards
on the zoning threshold of of difficulty
um trying to get something approved
that’s not normally approved then yes
it’s much more difficult
dylan what about you what’s the what’s
the rezoning like on the big on
same with scott is very case by case
dependent so in this in this case what
he’s talking about is going from
industrial back to
um something that you could do condos on
is probably going to be more likely
right as opposed to going from
agricultural to trying to do residential
or trying to do industrial or something
like that from agriculturally his own
property so
my advice is write the check to a good
attorney and planning consultant and
have them look at it because they’re
going to be able to give you good advice
and um they’re they’re the ones that
live in the trenches doing this every
day dealing with the county dealing with
the county councils um the planning
departments and all those things and
they’re going to be able to give you the
best advice on that
yeah uh that’s really some sound advice
because there’s there’s also crazy stuff
that can stop it they like you know you
can have the zoning already and that and
this is a big misconception with people
is you have on the big island we have
lots of huge pieces of land where you
have 20 acre pieces of land that are
zoned egg one so you can go to one eight
one acre la uh pieces out of a 20 acre
lots people think oh you know
piece of cake i’m going to buy this and
i want to make one acre lots but there’s
all kinds of other things that go into
getting a subdivision approved so even
if you have the zoning and you can do
what you want to do or you think you can
do what you want to do now you got to
put in infrastructure you got to have
water available you have utilities
available i mean there’s all kinds you
may have to do a traffic study to see if
you have enough you know um shoulder
space off the highway to turn onto the
property there’s all kinds of stuff that
go into it it’s extremely complicated
and so if you ever talk to a realtor who
says oh yeah you can subdivide this they
don’t know what they’re talking about so
that’s a huge red flag when somebody
tells you it’s going to be easy or
simple because it’s very complicated
yeah and you know and to add to the
complication it is molokai so i would
say uh the hot spot
number one is you need to be living in
molokai and a huge part of that
community and you need to know everybody
in that community that is one thing i
would say for sure
you better know everyone and they better
know you and not just know you they
better love you they better love you and
love your family because that’s what
it’s going to take in molokai because
molokai is one big family that’s been
there forever um and uh i see scott
nodding heidi you have any other uh any
other thought you want to add uh for
about rezoning and any uh any kind of
yes i mean i would say how much time do
you have um
even if it’s something that is possible
i mean it could take five to 15 years
it’s it’s not going to be something
um in most cases on maui that could even
be foreseeably accomplished in a few
and yes i mean get local
get a really good
local attorney and somebody that has
doing that kind of thing because it’s
it’s not easy
yeah i would say uh the hot spot if if
you’ll you’ll know you’re on your way
when you start getting invited to all
kinds of baby luaus when you start
getting invited to all kinds of baby
luas then you know you’ve got it right
you can start the prostitute then you
can begin the process of considering
resulting but until you start getting
invited to everyone’s baby luau
it ain’t gonna happen