Zoning in Hawaii

Hawaii, like all state, has its own zoning regulations.  These laws define what we can and can not do as owners of different types of property.  This can be an issue when you are considering buying a condo or Single Family Residence (SFR) that you intend to use as a long term or vacation rental property.  Only certain areas allow vacation rentals and many of what are today vacation rental condos are not in areas zoned for that use.  While owners have been getting away with this for many years and may continue to get away with it, it's good to know what the law is just in case the county or state should ever decide to enforce the zoning codes.  To date, enforcing zoning is a low priority since it requires a good deal of manpower and time so unless there are complaints about certain properties being used as such, nothing is done.

A common regulation is RS, Single Family Residential Districts.  Such designations are usually followed by a number i.e., RS-10 which means the minimum lot size is 10,000 square feet with a single dwelling on the property.

Some permitted uses of RS zoned land is Adult Day Care, Crop Production, Group Living Facilities, or Neighborhood Play Grounds, Tennis Courts or Swimming Pools.  There are no vacation, aka short term, rentals allowed in RS zoned areas.

Other restrictions in the zoning manual describe Height Limits for structures, minimum building site areas, & minimum yards.  In some cases, an Ohana dwelling (mother in law or guest quarters) may be located on an RS zoned property.

Under RM, Multiple-Family Residential Districts, there is higher density residential use.  Here too, it is followed by a number indicating the required land area.  Some uses here are Bed & Breakfast establishments, Boarding Facilities, Community Buildings, Duplexes, Family Child Care Homes, and Time Share Units.  Some of these uses will have certain restrictions that can be found in other parts of the Zoning Manual.

There are numerous Agricultural designations that allow various types of agricultural useage.  This includes Aquaculture and Botanical Gardens as well as Cemetaries and Mausoleums, Game and Fish Propogation, etc.

CV is Village Commercial Districts and provides for a broad reange or variety of commercial and light industrial uses that are necessary to serve the population in rural areas.  Each CV district shall be desigated by the symbol "CV" followed by a number which indicated the minimum land area in thousands of square feet.  This designation allows Amusement and REcreation Facilities (indoor), Art Galleries and Museums, Auto Sales and Rentals, Boarding Facilities, Rooming & Lodging Facilities, Convenience Stores, Duplexes, Farmer's Markets, Manufacturing and Hotels among other things.

For more information or specific information, please contact Ferrari Pacific Realty.  I'll be happy to provide you with the complete Hawaii County Zoning Code.

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