Pa Banner Land Use
Pa Banner Land Use
Pa Banner Land Use

Land Use, Zoning & Entitlements


Hawai‘i has among the most complex land use laws in the country. In addition to land use regulations at the state and county levels, Hawai‘i has a robust environmental review statute and strict Special Management Area and shoreline rules.

Our Land Use, Zoning, and Entitlements Group has decades of experience in Hawai‘i. We provide a full range of legal services to assist purchasers, sellers, lenders, landowners, developers, and homeowners in evaluating projects and potential projects, pursuing permits and other approvals, defending permits and approvals against challenges, appealing the denial of permits and approvals, and generally navigating these complex land use regulatory systems in Hawai‘i.

From single-family homes to multimillion-dollar mixed-use developments and from renewable energy to resort, our attorneys couple a deep technical knowledge with practical advice based on decades of working with state and local officials and community members. Let us take your project from an idea to completion.

What We Do

  • 201H Projects
  • Due Diligence Reviews
  • Environmental Assessments and Impact Statements
  • Procuring Land Use Entitlements, including:
    • District Boundary Amendments
    • Zone Changes
    • Subdivisions and Planned Unit Developments
    • Variances, Conditional Use Permits, Conditional Permits, Special Permits, and Special Use Permits
    • Conservation District Use Permits
    • Special Management Area Assessments and Use Permits
    • Special Zoning Districts Approvals
  • Shoreline Certification and Encroachment Easements, Erosion, and Accretion
  • Easements, Highways Act, Rights of Way, Beach, and Trail Access
  • Native Hawaiian Rights and Traditional and Customary Uses
  • Historic Preservation and Island Burial Council Matters
  • Water Rights
  • Development Agreements
  • Defense of Enforcement Actions
  • Defense of Private Challenges
  • Contested Case Hearings and Appeals
  • Ranching and Farming Issues

Our experience spans all types of projects from rezonings to complex permitting issues affecting agriculture, residential, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use projects. We have good working relationships with the various administrative agencies and appointed boards. We are active participants in the land use community, and we pursue creative solutions to solve even the most complicated issues.

Our goal is to be an extension of your team, not just a legal adviser. At the outset, our team strives to gain a full appreciation of your objectives and your property, including its physical characteristics, present zoning and uses, environmental limitations, and regulatory history. Taking all of this into account, we work with you to devise the best approach to achieve your goals in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

  • Renewable energy projects
  • Land use district boundary amendments
  • 201H projects
  • Rezonings
  • Due diligence reviews
  • Defenses of projects
  • Successful appeals from denials of projects


Vitousek RoyVitousek Roy

Roy A. Vitousek III


Randy is the resident partner with the firm’s Hawai‘i Island Offices. He is Chair of the Land Use, Zoning, and Entitlements Group.

Vitousek Roy