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About the Planning Deptartment

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Plumeria_180The Planning Department provides technical advice to the Mayor, Planning Commission, and County Council on all planning and land use matters. The Department is also charged with the administration of the Subdivision and Zoning Codes. The major divisions of the department are Administrative Services, Administrative Permits, Long-Range Planning, and Planning.

Note that the Planning Department has offices in Hilo and Kona. The Hilo office handles Planning Department activities Island-wide, while the Kona office handles these same activities primarily for North and South Kohala, North and South Kona, and Ka`ū. Simply contact the Planning Department Office nearest you.

Please find information for both offices on our Contact Us page.


Administrative Services

Administrative Services Division provides:

  • Overall direction, control and coordination of the Department and its programs
  • Advises the Mayor and Council on planning matters
  • Provides support graphic and clerical services to the divisions within the Department
  • Manages the Geographic Information System (GIS), and Geothermal Fund programs
  • Street naming

Administrative Permits

The Administrative Permits Division administers permitting requirements of the Zoning and Subdivision Codes where the Planning Director is the decision maker:

  • Plan approval
  • Variances
  • Subdivision approval
  • Ohana and farm dwellings

The Admin Permits Division is also responsible to enforce provisions of these codes, and addresses complaints and violations.


Planning Division

The Planning Division administers the permitting requirements of the Zoning Code, State Land Use Law, Coastal Zone Management Act, and General Plan where the Planning Commission and/or County Council are the decision makers:

  • Use Permits
  • Special Permits
  • Special Management Area (SMA) Use Permits
  • State Land Use Boundary Amendments
  • Rezoning
  • General Plan Amendments
  • Shoreline Setback Variances

Long-Range Planning

The Long-Range Division is responsible for:

  • Legislative Review and Testimonies
  • General Plan Amendments
  • Code and Rule Amendments
  • Community Development Plans
  • Ordinances and Resolutions
  • The Land Use Inventory
  • Consultant Services Contracts