The state Office of Planning is accepting comments on its draft analysis of Hawaii’s land use system, which points out “system-wide weaknesses” in how Hawaii manages growth and development.

The deadline for submitting comments is May 31. Click here to submit a comment.

The report found that Hawaii’s land use system hasn’t changed much in the past 53 years and that many stakeholders think the state has an important role to play in land use.

“However, stakeholders are uniformly dissatisfied with how the system performs and what the system delivers: We are not getting the kind of quality growth or resource protection that is desired,” the report said. “And they are deeply divided about what needs to change to bring about better land use outcomes.”

Land Use Commission in Honolulu.

The state Land Use Commission deliberates on D.R. Horton’s Hoopili development in 2012.

Sophie Cocke/Civil Beat

Despite finding that there’s little consensus about what’s wrong with the system, the report proposed several possible reforms.

Suggestions included broadening community representation on the Land Use Commission, increasing the minimum lot size for agricultural land to 25 acres to prevent subdividing, and requiring developers to begin construction seven to 10 years after receiving land re-classification approval.

The report also proposed transforming the Land Use Commission into a state planning commission, limiting regional boundary amendments to occur only once every five years, or shifting contested case hearings to the counties.

“It is clear from the comments and concerns expressed during the Review project that participants believe all parties in the land use process could, and should, be doing a better job in providing quality growth and safeguarding the well-being of Hawaii’s built and natural environments,” the report concluded.

Click here to read the full report.

Here’s more information about the Office of Planning’s land use system review process.

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