HILO, Hawaii – After a long delay, the Hawaii County Council is again taking up a bill that would bring changes to the way the island regulates agricultural tourism operations.
Bill 116, introduced by Kohala councilwoman Margaret Wille, went before the Hawaii County Council Planning Committee on January 5 in Hilo. The ag tourism bill first surfaced under the previous council, and was re-introduced under the current council late last year and postponed. The measure would make changes to how major and minor ag tourism activities are defined and regulated.
Some residents expressed concerns over the possible impacts the proposed bill might have on Waipi’o Valley. Speaking by videoconference from Waimea, farmer Jim Cain said the law could make the already difficult situation with visitors in the valley more complicated.
Wille offered some amendments to her bill at the Hilo meeting, and the measure was ultimately postponed until the meeting on February 2, 2016.