Vacation Rentals Find Advocate on County Council

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Maui County Council Member Mike Victorino is introducing a resolution in front of council addressing the current crack down on Transient Vacation Rentals. The non-binding resolution would encourage the mayor to back off on her aggressive enforcement against rentals until the county council has had the opportunity to create new legislation on vacation rentals. The council has started reviewing a number drafts for a few different bills created by the planning department before spending the last two months reviewing the county budget. It is expected that council will begin reviewing the bills again in June.

The mayor initiated a crack down on non-permitted rentals in July of last year with most shut down by a December 31st, 2007 deadline. The mayor’s rationale is that vacation rentals are having an adverse effect on the community. As it stands, it is illegal to operate vacation rental areas outside of hotel/resort areas unless you have a permit. The permit process has long been a point of contention for vacation rental operators. The process is both time consuming and expensive. Many potential operators have seen their review process drag out for longer than five years with expenses exceeding $10,000. Groups such as the Maui Vacation Rental Association and the Realtors Association of Maui have been advocating a reformed application process and better defined rules and regulations. The mayor’s position is a reversal of a previous county policy that did not enforce the law unless operators were subject to community complaints.

If passed, Victorino’s resolution would not be a binding law. It is more an expression of the county council’s stance on the matter. We will continue to follow the resolution and the vacation rental debate on THE Maui Real Estate Blog. Click here for an article on the resolution in yesterday’s Maui News.

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