The County’s existing General Plan was adopted in 2005. According to the plan, the comprehensive review process shall be initiated no more than 10 years after the previous review. A lot has happened on Hawai‘i Island since 2005. Everything that has transpired since that time, including population growth, natural disasters, technological advancements, and sustainability efforts, are being considered in the General Plan. The Planning Director is responsible for leading the review process and recommending amendments to the Plan.
Please visit the 2005 General Plan page for more background about the overall structure it laid out.
A comprehensive review of the plan entails many different stages in a similar process to its initial adoption. In this initial phase, much of the work involves collecting community feedback, examining the effectiveness of the previous plan, researching current conditions, and analyzing how to “put the pieces together” in a way that creates a unified and easily implementable plan for the people of Hawai‘i County. An overarching goal of the review effort is to create an open forum for discussion, consider community input and values, encourage interagency collaboration and participation, and direct growth patterns in ways that benefit our population and protect our beautiful island environment.
We aim to keep the community involved in every step of this process. Since 2015 we have reached out to communities across the island to provide updates on our current progress and to gauge community values and ideals. Understanding the way Community Development Plans fit into this comprehensive review in a way that provides the community a reliable basis for active participation is an important part of our mission.
Please view our Comprehensive Review Fact Sheet for a detailed overview of the Comprehensive Review Process.
February 2015: Comprehensive Review Initiated
On February 6th, 2015 the Planning Director initiated the General Plan Comprehensive Review by Public Notice.
February through September 2015: Initial Review Period
February 2015 through September 2015 marked the initial review period for Council members, Action Committee Members, and members of the public to submit initial guidance for the General Plan comprehensive review process.
June 2016: GP Input at CDP meetings
Planning staff hosted public input sessions at CDP meetings across the island.
August 2016: Public Input Session
In August 2016 public charrette workshops were hosted to further gather community input.
- Initial input, General Plan-CDP comparison, background research.
- Contracted analysis:
trends & forecasts, scenic resources, alternative scenarios.
- Scenario planning workshops.
- Housing, economics, finance, implementation, evaluation.
- Regular CDP-GP update meetings.
Update to ACs on future structure of GP/ CDP
County agency updates and listening sessions
Listening Session with local planners group
Late July, Early August 2019
Release of the draft, official comment period begins.
Copies of the draft will be made available in both the Hilo and Kona Planning Department offices, and on this website.
August 2019 Community Speakouts
In August we will be hosting Community Speakout events all around the island. Please drop us anytime between 9am and 2pm on…
- August 10 – at the Waimea Middle School Gym (67-1229 Māmalahoa Hwy)
- August 11 – at the Aupuni Center in Hilo (101 Pauahi St., Suite 1)
- August 24 – at the West Hawaii Civic Center Council Chambers in Kona (74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Hwy, Building A)
- August 25 – at the Nā‘ālehu Community Center (95-5635 Māmalahoa Hwy)
For the most up to date information about these speak out events, please join our mailing list!
September 2019 Topic Workshops
Throughout the public input process, planners will be keeping track of topic items emphasized or brought up repeatedly in various districts. These special topic items will be focused on in greater detail in additional public meetings. More information to come!
Winter 2019 - Winter 2020
Planning Department will review comments and conduct needed research to prepare the Recommended General Plan. The adoption process for the Recommended General Plan will begin with public workshops.
The initial input period lasted from the initiation of the comprehensive review through roughly August of 2015. During this time, several groups were consulted for their input on the initial direction of the review.
County Council Resolutions
County Council adopted a series a resolutions during the initiation of the General Plan Comprehensive Review.
From the Public & Other Groups
CDP Action Committee Recommendations
The Community Development Plan (CDP) Action Committee’s produced letters of recommendation during the initial input period.
2019 Draft General Plan Public Input:
In 2019 the Draft General Plan was released for public review and comment. The Draft Plan was presented to the public through a variety of public engagement events across the island. Public comments were heard, collected, documented and used to inform the next round of revisions to the Draft General Plan.
Submitted From the Public & Other Community Groups
2019 Draft General Plan Agency Input:
The following comments on the 2019 Draft General Plan are from public agencies such as County, State, or Federal Governments.
(The above comments are not a full representation of the public comments that were received in 2019. The sorting of the remaining public comments is underway now and will be available soon. We thank you for your patience in this process.)
In August 2016, the Planning Department held two identical Public Input Forums in Hilo and Kona with remote sites in Pāhoa, Nā‘ālehu, and Waimea to get residents’ feedback on alternatives for future growth. In addition to written feedback, electronic “keypad polling” was used during the Forums (along with paper surveys at remote sites) to record participants’ input.
The 2005 General Plan established the Community Development Plan program in order to translate island-wide General Plan goals and priorities into action-items that could be executed on a district level. The CDP program has since created a forum for communities across Hawai‘i Island to express their views related to planning the future of their immediate area.
During the comprehensive review process, CDPs will be assessed for consistency with the overarching General Plan. Many CDP policies and actions will likely be included in the General Plan draft to more constructively encourage their future implementation. Since CDPs further define policies in the General Plan, careful consideration needs to be applied to areas where the documents may differ.
Clicking on your district below will take you to information about the Community Development:
Hawaiʻi County General Plan 2040 Update
Summary of Public Comment and Revised Timeline
Outreach for Public Comment
The General Plan 2040 strives to position Hawai‘i Island for economic progress while preserving the environment and strengthening community foundations. Given this strategic importance, the Planning Department performed community outreach during August – October 2019 to solicit public comment. Members of the public and several governmental agencies submitted comments in writing, and in-person remarks were captured during the following events, which presented key messages on goals, policies and actions for each section of the plan.
- Speak-Out Events in large community venues (Hilo, Kona, Nāʻālehu and Waimea).
- Mini Speak-Out Events in smaller community venues (Captain Cook, Honoka‘a, Kailua-Kona, Kapaʻau, Panaewa, Pāhoa, Volcano Village and Waikoloa).
- Community Group Presentations to the Community Development Plan (CDP) Action Committees, the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, the Waimea Community Association, the Board of Water Supply, the Cultural Resource Commission, and the Environmental Management Commission.
- Topic-Focused Workshops to provide focus on Economic Development, Infrastructure, Land Use and Natural Resources (Hilo, Kailua-Kona).
- Coffee Hour Presentations to County and State governmental bodies.
Summary of Public Comment
|Section of Plan
(Total Comments/ Percent Prompting Revisions)
Clarify GP authority, the future of CDPs, and relationships between County plans; Provide rationale for policies containing “shall”
|Natural Resource Planning (679/23%)||
Clarify County’s role in planning and management
|Infrastructure Planning (775/27%)||
Align land use and infrastructure capacity; Add infrastructure maps; Address deficiencies related to wastewater and solid waste
|Economic and Opportunity
Address food planning, aging-in-place, and changes in tourism; Identify locations of affordable housing
|Community Placemaking (648/44%)||Address deficiencies with historic preservation, access for disabled persons, and restricted access to unique resources; Add trail maps; Clarify service levels for parks, fire, police
|Land Use Planning (759/100%)||Align land use with infrastructure capacity and Kona CDP; Clarify definitions; Include hazards in land use mapping; Include rationale for land use designations, adding one for STVRs and revisiting Mahukona & Discovery Harbor
Prioritize CIP projects; Expand funding/financing options; Address GP/budget relationship; Clarify implementation time frames and agency roles
Summarize what has changed from 2005 GP
The original timeline envisioned completion of the comprehensive review by end of calendar year 2020. Four factors have extended the timeline of the General Plan comprehensive review: 1) Higher than expected volume of public comments; 2) Significant effort required to synchronize the General Plan with Kilauea Recovery planning and to update to the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan; 3) Re-deployment of some Long-Range Division staff to assist in processing Short-Term Vacation Rentals and resulting petitions to the Board of Appeals; and 4) Reduction in Long-Range Division staff capacity since March because of personal requirements for COVID-19 leave and transition to remote work.
The following target dates are set for the remaining steps of the formal adoption process:
- Public Workshops: December 2020/January 2021
- Planning Commission Hearings: June 2021
- County Council Hearings: September 2021
Updates to these target dates will be communicated on the General Plan website at
For more information contact the Planning Department, County of Hawai‘i 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3; Hilo, HI 96720. Phone: (808) 961-8288.
Those interested in keeping current with upcoming events, progress, and process can sign up for General Plan eNews at https://www.planning.hawaiicounty.gov/big-island-vision/community-planning/general-plan/connect
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Please stay tuned for when we will be hosting community meetings in your area. We hope you feel welcome to share your views on what makes the General Plan the best representation of our community that it can be. Please join our mailing list or send us a message to get the most up to date information about future General Plan events.
‘A‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi.
All knowledge is not learned in just one school.
[One can learn from many sources.]
Inquires about the General Plan Comprehensive Review may be directed to our Long Range Planning team at (808) 961-8288 or GeneralPlan@hawaiicounty.gov.