Vacation Rentals are currently a hot button issue on Maui. The county has switched to an active enforcement policy on non-permitted vacation rentals outside of resort areas. This has meant that the majority of the vacation rentals in parts of the island like the North Shore and the Upcountry have been shut down or are in the process of being shut down. This is not a result of new legislation. This is an old policy that the county did not enforce over a period of many years. The county’s process for applying for the necessary permits was slow and antiquated. This led many to abandon the process. Some of those who abandoned their applications did so at the encouragement of the planning department.
There was concern that the issue might expand to condominiums. A number of the condos that allow vacation rentals on the island are zoned apartment. There were people in the planning department who had discussed expanding the vacation rental shut down to apartment zoned areas. The Realtors Association of Maui received good news on Tuesday when the planning department declared that the “Transient Vacation Rental” situation in the County’s Apartment District is “Status Quo.” That means that apartments that can currently be rented short-term will continue to be allowed to do so. Asked specifically if the opinion issued by Deputy Corporation Counsel Richard Minatoya in 2001 will be allowed to stand, County Deputy Planning Director Coleen Suyama said, ” yes… it would not be challenged.”
The Minatoya Opinion helped resolve a conflict over which apartments could be rented as vacation rentals in 2001. Since then, it has set the boundaries for this use in the apartment district. RAM recently learned that the Minatoya Opinion was under review and could have been rescinded. RAM objected to that possibility and requested to be informed when a determination was made. Deputy Director Suyama informed the Realtors association on Tuesday(10-2-07) that there will not be any challenges to the Minatoya Opinion and the County land use regulations for the Apartment District will remain as “Status Quo.”
We will continue to follow the Vacation Rental Issue on the Maui Real Estate Blog.