Bed and Breakfast Bill Passes County Council

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The Maui County Council passed a new bed and breakfast bill yesterday by a seven to one margin. The council has been working on the bill on and off since the spring of this year. Bed and breakfasts have been a hot button issue since the summer of 2007 when Maui County began shutting down non-permitted bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals. The new ordinance appears as if it will make for a more streamlined approval process and a broader definition of bed and breakfasts and the areas where they may operate. Bill highlights include the following:

  • Expands the areas where bed and breakfasts can operate from just residential to also include rural and agriculturally zoned properties.
  • Expands the definition of bed and breakfasts to include the use of ohanas. Previously bed and breakfasts were only allowed to rent rooms in the same dwelling as the owner.
  • Create an expedited administrative approval process for properties zoned residential and rural.
  • Permits will no longer require County Council approval.
  • Sets community and countywide caps on the total number of potential bed and breakfasts. The bill allows for no more than 400 permits to be issued.
  • Provides safe guards so that bed and breakfasts will have limited impact on local neighborhoods.

This bill will now go in front of Mayor Charmaine Tavares to be signed into law. Based on her comments yesterday, it does not appear that the mayor will provide any opposition to the bill. We are excited about the prospect of a revitalization of home based accommodations on Maui. Many island travelers have been frustrated at the lack of diversity in accommodations since the ban. It will also help communities in the North Shore, Upcountry and East Maui that otherwise lack an abundance of permitted rentals. Many of the businesses in these areas felt a significant impact when the non-permitted rentals were shut down.

The new county council will take on the issue of transient vacation rentals (TVRs) after the new year. TVRs are distinguished from and bed and breakfasts in that these are non owner occupied homes outside the resort area. The process for crafting a bill for bed and breakfasts proved to be long and arduous. I imagine transient vacation rentals may take even longer as this issue will likely be a little more controversial. We will continue to provide updates on the Maui Real Estate blog.

Check out today’s Maui News for additional information on yesterday’s council vote on Bed and Breakfasts.

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