What to know before buying Agricultural property on Maui

What's a Farm Plan?

We have lots of buyers looking at property in Haiku, Huelo, Makawao, Olinda, Kula, Launiupoko, and other Ag zoned (agricultural) areas who ask us one simple question:

"If I buy an ag zoned property, do I have to be a farmer?"

The simple answer is no. When you submit building permits for your Ag zoned property, the County of Maui will require you to submit a Farm Plan to show that at least half of the land will be used for agriculture or agricultural land conservation purposes. But that doesn't mean you have to start tilling the soil and selling your own produce.

farm plan for agricultural zoned property on maui

Why are Farm Plans required?

The County of Maui's stated goal is to promote agricultural development, preserve ag resources and maintain the unique character of Maui's economy and lifestyle. Requiring Farm Plans allows the County to hold owners accountable for continuing property uses that align with those goals.

Homes for sale with 5+ Acres of land

Here are 12 recently listed homes for sale throughout Maui that have at least 5 aces of land. Be sure to view the full list to see all the available properties.

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View full list for homes for sale with 5+ acres

How to do your Farm Plan

Don't let the official sounding name of the Farm Plan intimidate you, the proposal really doesn't need to be too polished - it just needs to meet the County's basic requirements. According to the Farm Plan Review document from the County of Maui, your submission needs to show three key things:

  1. Map of your parcel with markings showing the areas designated for ag use. The map does not need to be perfectly to scale so you can basically start with the survey map and hand-draw the markings showing ag use. We've seen maps accepted where the owner designated 51% of the land as Horse Pasture (must be fenced and gated).

  2. Written description of plants and/or animals you intend to cultivate. The description needs to include a tally of use that adds up to at least 51% of the land area of the parcel.

  3. Photos of the property showing the current agricultural uses.

You can review the full Farm Plan Document here to get additional detail.

aquaculture is a good option for your farm plan

Suggestions for Ag use

There are a multitude of implementation options for your Farm Plan that won't require significant effort. As we already mentioned, simply designating part of your land for horse pasture could potentially fulfill the requirements of your farm plan; but how about a few other suggestions?

  • Unique crops - This might include Turmeric or native plants

  • Fruit trees - designate a section of your land for planting seedlings that will eventually become an orchard.

  • Grow your own food - simple gardens for you to plant your own veggies, herbs and fruits. One popular approach is Permaculture - a holistic approach to ag use centered around edible landscaping. There are many Permaculture consultants on Maui who can create a simple zone plan for you for a sustainable lifestyle.

  • Coconuts - plant a grove of palm trees so you can harvest your own coconuts for personal use. 

  • Have Livestock- This can include goats, sheep, horses, and chickens. You can also lease your land to farmers if you don’t want to own the animals yourself. Proper fencing housing and water will be required.

  • Aquaculture - This can include fish ponds for raising Tilapia and duck ponds.