Hawai‘i Land Use Regulatory System
A simplified explanation of Hawai‘i’s complex system of land use regulation.
Need a land use permit, or other Planning Department approval?
Check the Planning Department Forms repository for any application you may need for:
- a conditional use permit;
- obtaining a zoning code variance;
- appealing an official decision;
- subdividing or consolidating your property;
- any other of the many Planning Department actions.
Shoreline Public Access Brochure
Digital brochure of public shoreline access on the Big Island.
Tax Map Key (TMK) maps by District (1=Puna, 2=S. Hilo, 3=N. Hilo, etc.)
Definitions of zoning designations with maps showing zoning boundaries.
Approved subdivision plan maps.
Special Management Area
The Special Management Area (SMA) is the area that is in close proximity to the shoreline, which has implications for development above and beyond those of other parts of the island. This page provides information and resources concerning the SMA.
Planning Department and Planning Commission Rules
Scope of Responsibilities | Procedures
For more information regarding the newly adopted Rule 23, which establishes procedures for processing, regulating, and managing the impacts of Short-Term Vacation Rentals, please visit the Short-Term Vacation Rentals page.
Hawai‘i County Code
Including: Subdivision Code (Chap.23) |Zoning Code (Chap.25) | Public Access Code (Chap.34)
Permitted Uses Table
A quick-reference guide to the allowable uses of land within the various zoning district designations.
Building Setback Requirements for Residential and Agricultural Districts
Buildings on your property must maintain minimum setbacks from the property borders.
Accessible Parking Standards
Accessible Parking Spaces shall be designed and installed in accordance with all current Federal and State requirements for a facility or site. For Planning Department purposes, Accessible parking is required to be shown on site plans submitted for Plan Approval, in compliance with the Hawaii County Code, Chapter 25 (Zoning), Section 25-4-55. Parking for persons with disabilities and Section 25-2-72 Application for plan approval.
The following links below are provided to assist you in determining current Federal and State requirements for number of stalls, access aisle, striping, signage, and loading zone. These links are not inclusive and are provided by the County for public education and information purposes. The Planning Department makes no representation for the completeness or correctness of this list.
- State of Hawaii Disability and Communications Access Board Parking Information
- State of Hawaii Disability and Communications Access Board Parking Brochure
- Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 103-50
- Hawaii Administrative Rules Title 11, Chapter 219
- U.S. Department of Justice ADA Standards
- U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
If any of the above federal and state laws recommend and require more stringent parking standards for persons with disabilities than those contained in this section, those requirements shall be followed.
US Army Corps of Engineers Permit Application
Projects involving work in the aquatic environment, including tidal areas and other wetlands, are subject to review by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Follow the above link to the USACE website, which provides access to the permit application.
Contested Case Hearing Assistance
The University of Hawai‘i has created a guidebook to assist those involved in a contested case hearing before an administrative agency in Hawai‘i. This guidebook provides a general overview of the contested case process in Hawai‘i, but you should refer to the Planning Commission’s Rule 4 (Contested Case Procedure) for specific information about how the Hawai‘i County Planning Commission conducts contested case hearings.
- UH Contested Case Hearing Guidebook
- Planning Commission Rule 4 (Contested Case Procedure) in the Planning Commission Rules
Fair Share Annual Report
Mitigation of the potential regional impacts caused by development, with respect to parks and recreation, fire, police, solid waste disposal facilities, and roads.
- 2016-2017 Fair Share Annual Report
- 2015-2016 Fair Share Annual Report
- 2014-2015 Fair Share Annual Report
- 2013-2014 Fair Share Annual Report
Professional Services Providers
If you are a professional wishing to provide services to the County, please read these instructions.
- For internal County use: Approved Professional Services Provider information (You must have a valid County username and password.)