The State Land Use Commission has approved Kamehameha Schools’ petition to designate approximately 9,592 acres of the educational trust’s Oahu lands as important agricultural lands.
The commission affirmed its decision at their March 5 meeting to grant KS’ December 2014 petition to designate approximately 9,171 acres in Kawailoa on the North Shore and 421 acres in Punaluu as important agricultural lands.
“We believe the approval of our petition moves us another step closer towards food sustainability for Hawaii,” said Sydney Keliipuleole, Kamehameha Schools’ Land Assets Division director.
According to the petition, Kamehameha Schools waived its right to assert, claim or exercise any land reclassification credits for future use, an incentive provided to landowners to encourage IAL designation under the 2005 IAL legislation.
The petition lists Kamehameha Schools’ intent for the designation as 1) “to preserve agricultural lands so that the lands continue to provide food and sustainable energy for Hawaii’s people,” and 2) “to increase the production of fruits, vegetables, meat and other food products on its lands for the local market.”
The LUC approval also opens the door to incentives that are available and that will become available to the farmers of these lands, including certain tax credits and loan guarantees.
The petition is part of Kamehameha Schools’ 2009 Strategic Agricultural Plan and agricultural initiatives.
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