Council Committee Making Compromises on B&Bs

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The planning committee for the Maui County Council reversed course during a meeting yesterday when they voted by a 3-2 margin to allow B&B operations in agriculturally zoned areas. This was a change of direction from previous planning committee sessions where council members appeared to agree to eliminate bed and breakfasts from ag zoned areas. Council member Mike Molina reintroduced this measure to the debate after hearing feedback from constituents. Members of the community argued that B&B’s could be used to augment marginal farm incomes. They also contested that many of the B and B’s in ag zoned areas are on lots that are often marginal for productive agriculture. These arguments appeared to sway three of the five committee members. It will still need to go before a full county council vote for approval.

The other issue discussed but not resolved involved community caps for bed and breakfasts. A number of 400 B&Bs was discussed for the Island of Maui with individual communities subject to their own caps. The North Shore area would get the greatest number of B and B’s in this system with up to 108 permitted operations. This area has arguably felt the heaviest impact from the elimination of B and B’s and TVRs in the community. Committee members wanted to chew on these numbers some more before putting them to a final vote.

The changes in Bed and Breakfast legislation are part of an overall debate on Bed and Breakfasts and Transient Vacation Rentals in Maui County. The county reversed a non-enforcement policy on non-permitted TVRs and B&Bs in 2007. The number of non permitted accommodations had grown substantially under heavy visitor demand and a broken permitting process. We have been following these debates closely on The Maui Real Estate Blog . We will continue to follow its progress until there is final resolution. For more detailed discussion of Tuesday’s meeting, check out today’s Maui News.

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