State Agricultural Leases

Authorizes the department of land and natural resources to
negotiate long-term leases under specific terms, conditions, and
restrictions imposed under the bill with certain permittees of
agricultural land.  (HB3024 HD1)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  Widespread development of farm ownership is one
 2 of several stipulated uses for proceeds from the public land
 3 trust.  The continued growth and development of diversified
 4 agriculture throughout the State is an objective of the Hawaii
 5 state plan as stated in chapter 226, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
 6      Certain permittees of agricultural lands have occupied such
 7 state lands for long periods of time, but because their tenure is
 8 on a month-to-month basis, they do not have security in the
 9 assurance of continued tenure on the land and are not able to
10 obtain financing for improving their farm because financing is
11 not available due to the lack of long-term tenure.  Farmers who
12 depend on state land for their livelihood are constrained by
13 their uncertain tenure from developing the land and using it more
14 productively.
15      The purpose of this Act is to authorize the department of
16 land and natural resources to negotiate long-term leases under
17 specific terms, conditions, and restrictions imposed by this Act
18 with certain permittees of agricultural land.  The legislature

Page 2                                                     3024
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1 finds that it is in the public interest to assist qualifying
 2 permittees who depend on farming state land for a livelihood,
 3 that the purpose of this Act is consistent with objectives of the
 4 Hawaii state plan, and further, if the offer of assistance
 5 provided by this Act is accepted by qualifying permittees, the
 6 State would realize greater returns from the long-term
 7 disposition of lands now under revocable permits.
 8      SECTION 2.  Section 171-40, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 9 amended to read as follows:
10      "171-40  Expired leases; holdover.  Upon expiration of the
11 lease term, if the leased land is not otherwise disposed of, the
12 board of land and natural resources may allow the lessee to
13 continue to hold the land for a period not exceeding one year
14 upon such rent, terms, and conditions as the board may prescribe;
15 provided that if, immediately prior to the expiration of the
16 lease, the land was cultivated with crops having ratoons for at
17 least one cycle, as defined hereinafter, the board may permit the
18 lessee to continue to hold the leased land until the crops from
19 the last remaining cycle have been harvested.  The term "cycle"
20 as used in this section means the period required to plant and
21 cultivate the original crop, including the harvesting of the
22 first ratoon, being a period exceeding two years.

Page 3                                                     3024
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1      Upon expiration of the one-year extension, if the board has
 2 not yet decided upon the re-lease of the land or reservation for
 3 other purposes, the board may either:
 4      (1)  [issue] Issue a temporary permit to the lessee, subject
 5           to section 171-55 and the rent and such other terms and
 6           conditions as the board may prescribe[.]; or
 7      (2)  Require the payment of the annual lease rent based on
 8           fair market value; provided that the department shall
 9           accept, in lieu of cash payment or a part thereof, the
10           appraised value of improvements made (as determined by
11           the department by rule) to the leased property."
12      SECTION 3.  Within six months from the effective date of
13 this Act, the department shall notify in writing the permittees
14 of lands eligible for lease negotiations under this Act and shall
15 inform the permittees of the terms, conditions, and restrictions
16 provided by this Act.  Any permittee may apply for a lease;
17 provided that the application shall be submitted to the
18 department in writing within thirty days from the date of receipt
19 of notification; provided further that the department may require
20 documentary proof of any applicant to determine that the
21 applicant meets eligibility and qualification requirements for a
22 lease as specified by this Act.

Page 4                                                     3024
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1      SECTION 4.  There is appropriated out of the general
 2 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $         or so much
 3 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2000-2001 to
 4 implement the purposes of this Act.
 5      SECTION 5.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
 6 department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this
 7 Act.  The department of land and natural resources may hire
 8 temporary personnel and consultants without regard to the
 9 requirements of chapters 76 and 77, and section 78-1 to carry out
10 duties and responsibilities necessary in implementing this Act.
11      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.