MVRA to Appeal Vacation Rental Decision

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The Maui Vacation Rental Association will appeal a December court decision that dismissed their suit against Maui County. The suit was seeking an injunction against the county’s January 1 shut down of non-permitted vacation rentals. The appeal will focus on the county’s failure to grant due process to MVRA and rental operators who have tried to apply for permits. Current policy mandates that prospective rental owners wade through a process that includes planning department and planning commission review. The number of permits granted has been limited and the review period for some application has stretched over many years. New legislation that would further regulate vacation rentals and alter the application process has been in the works for the better part of six years. In that time period, the existing process has come to a gradual halt.

The county started an active enforcement policy against non-permitted vacation rental operators last year. They gave non-permitted rentals until December 31st to operate if they had applied for a permit. Other rentals had been shut down prior to this point. The planning department and planning commission are in the midst of creating a new ordinance with the planning department submitting five bills for commission review. The new bills would restrict vacation rentals from operating in many areas like the North Shore and Upcountry where non-permitted rentals have flourished.

MVRA’s announcement came on the heals of Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares’ press conference that announced she was holding her ground on the vacation rental shut down. Tavares also complained about some of the public criticism and comments directed towards her and the planning department. There have been numerous letters to the editor complaining about the vacation rental crack down. There have also been editorials by the Maui News editorial staff, MVRA, the Realtors Association of Maui, the Maui County Chamber of Commerce and the Ohana Coalition speaking out against the mayor’s crackdown. She has not been swayed by those appeals. For more information, check out today’s Maui News. We will continue to follow this issue on the Maui Real Estate Blog.

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