Vacation Rental Issue to Remain on Agenda of County Council

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On Tuesday, the Maui County Council Planning Committee reviewed a series of bills from the planning commission on Transient Vacation Rentals in Maui County. The bills from the planning commission would allow for the use of bed and breakfasts in agricultural areas if the owner met certain agricultural sales thresholds, streamline the B and B application process and allow for conditional use permits for B and B’s in rural areas. However, it would eliminate the conditional use permit process for other vacation rentals outside of the hotel and resort areas. This would effectively shut down many of the island’s non resort vacation rentals permanently.

The committee meeting drew over 100 members of the general public. The committee overheard the testimony of 27 individuals. Most of the testimony was in favor of allowing the continued existence of TVRs with improved regulations and more efficient permitting processes. The Maui Vacation Rental Association or MVRA has been one of the main advocates of a compromise from the planning commission bills. Some of the points they are advocating include a county cap on TVRs at 2% of the residential housing stock and changing the definition of a bed and breakfast. As it stands, the county defines a bed and breakfast as an owner occupied residence with room rentals within the residence. Rentals of detached or attached ohanas are prohibited at bed and breakfasts. The MVRA is advocating for an expanded definition that would include ohanas.

There were no decisions at Tuesday’s meeting, but Council Member Gladys Baiasa vowed to keep the issue on the Planning Committees agenda until the council had resolution. We will continue to follow this topic on THE Maui Real Estate Blog.

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