Public Meetings on Honua’ula and Vacation Rentals

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Last night, the Kihei Community Center was the site for public testimony on the proposed Honua’ula development. Over 125 people were signed up to speak on the development in front of the county council. The Maui News was there to cover the event and they reported that the majority of the early testimony was overwhelmingly against the project. Environmental concerns, water supply, and crowding were all cited as reasons among those opposed to the event. The testimony also featured a smaller group of advocates for the project. Many were individuals or families who thought that Honua’ula represented an opportunity for county to address affordable housing. With somewhere between 40 and 50% of the units slated for affordable housing, there could be up to 700 affordable units created. County council was prepared to stay late into the evening to hear additional testimony. There may be an another hearing on Friday. I will post additional information from that hearing on THE Maui Real Estate blog.

A public hearing will be held tomorrow night at the Iao Theater in Wailuku on the issue of vacation rentals. The county has long had laws that restrict vacation rentals to areas that are zoned hotel and resort. Permits were required for rentals outside of the areas zoned for short term rentals. However, the restrictions went largely unenforced and the permit process was a dead end more often than not. This all changed in July when the county announced a proactive enforcement policy. We have started to see some fall out as homes that had vacation rentals have gone on the market. Additional fall out has been reported by members of the merchant community in places like Paia and Haiku. The
North Shore has few legal vacation rentals. As many of the illegal rentals have shut down, merchants are reporting less business from visitors. The hearing tomorrow night will run from 6:00-7:30 PM. The current enforcement and a new vacation rental ordinance. We will provide coverage on the event on the Maui Real Estate Blog as it becomes available.

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