I have written pretty regularly about the pace of vacant lot sales in the gated communities like Kohala Ranch. Many buyers prefer the familiarity of a Mainland-style community with architectural guidelines and house rules. On the other hand, there are buyers whose goals are different. Perhaps they want to farm. Perhaps they just want to build a home that is smaller or in a different style than the Kohala gated community design guidelines would allow.
If you are one of those prospective buyers (or own land in Kohala and are considering selling) this post is for you.
Finding Smaller Acreage in a District of Ag-20 Acre Zoning
Larger subdivisions like Kohala Ranch or Puakea Bay Ranch were able to achieve zoning indicative of 3, 5, or 10-acre lot sizes during a subdivision process which included rezoning. In general though, the State and County of Hawaii recognize the importance of North Kohala as an agricultural district, so when zoning regulations were first implemented, most of this area from Hawi to Kapaau and beyond was designated Ag-20a. What that means is that you cannot further subdivide any parcel unless the resulting parcels will be at least 20 acres each.
So how is it that we also find lots of smaller size outside of subdivisions…or approved subdivisions with smaller lots, such as the six lots of the Pacific Plains subdivision near Kapanaia, one of which I just listed?
For the most part, these parcels fit one of two scenarios:
- a pre-existing lot already was smaller in size when the Ag-20a zoning was applied on top of it; or
- a larger parcel contained multiple “lots of record” allowing for the owner to reconfigure using the Parcel Consolidation and Resubdivision framework into lots of essentially any size.
There are currently eight vacant land listings in escrow in Kohala (excluding properties listed as both land and residential). Three of these are smaller parcels of 2-6 acres, with prices from $428,000 to $650,000. Two of them are 20-acre parcels in smaller gated communities. One of them is my listing set for open space purchase by the County. And one of them is a large tract of almost 332 acres currently owned by Parker Ranch, in true agricultural use.
If your interest is in larger parcels, we have those as well. If your goal is agricultural production, shoot me an email with your criteria, and we will look for a property that works and talk about whether conservation easements could help in the purchase.