Watershed Land on Oahu

Recently, I was working with a colleague to support a client looking for vacant agriculture-zoned land suitable for shrimp farming. This client of ours has a special technique that he thought Hawaii would be a great place to farm and distribute. He thought Hawaii was great because of its proximity to Asia (his distributing market) and that Oahu‘s opportunity for shipping overseas was easily accessible.

shrimp plate lunch with rice and a wedge of lemon

Hawaiian Shrimp Plate Lunch

I learned lots from this venture as we contacted Hawaiiʻs Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to better understand how a lot can be used if there are designated “watershed” parcels intertwined or running through the land for sale. Which was an issue in the area where we were looking.

The Koolau Mountain Range is Oahu’s primary watershed area, located above the windward shore and on the eastern side of central Oahu plains, creating the backdrop of the Honolulu metropolitan plains. There are 86 watershed units on Oahu totaling 383,399 acres.

As it was explained to me that “watershed land” is protected by State law and can not be built on. We found four 10-acre parcels of interest that had no designated watershed land, and it was all usable within the agricultural zoning, which of course was great news to our client.

aerial shot of Kaaawa Valley Oahu

Aerial shot of the beautiful lush valley where Jurassic Park was filmed. Shot during sunrise. Location – Kaaawa Valley on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

I am grateful and open to my learning every day how to be more aware of some of the unique aspects of being a real estate professional in Hawaiʻi.

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