Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Vacation Rentals on Maui, Bikes on Sidewalks

September 15, 2014, 11:02 AM HST
* Updated September 22, 12:36 AM
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Sunset at Kamaole Beach Park I in South Maui--one of the many public places that remain open despite a federal government shutdown. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Sunset at Kamaole Beach Park I in South Maui. The area is located near many vacation rental properties. Photo by Wendy Osher.

The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.

By Mayor Alan Arakawa

Q: After five consecutive years of renting at the same property in Kīhei, I am being asked to vacate because the mainland-based landlord wants to do vacation rentals. This action will displace a total of six individuals who now have to find somewhere else to live. I was wondering if private vacation rentals are even legal in Maui County. If so, what are the statutes regarding Transient Vacation Rentals?

A: Yes, private vacation rentals, both Bed & Breakfast and Short-Term Rental Homes, are legal in Maui County if they conform to the requirements of the B&B and STRH ordinances (Chapters 19.64 and 19.65 of the Maui County Code) and if the necessary permits are obtained from the Planning Department. To view the ordinances, visit The County of Maui Website and click on “Ordinances.”

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa is the first to roll out on the new Kihei Bikeway. file photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa was the first to roll out on the Kīhei Bikeway. File photo 2011 by Wendy Osher.

Q: As the number of motor vehicles of various types consistently increases on our island, it becomes more and more dangerous to pedal a bicycle, regardless of so-called “bike lanes,” which only offer the illusion of protection. Relying on the few true safe bike paths inhibits traveling anywhere, which brings the question, is it legal to ride bicycles on sidewalks? I have not found the answer to this issue in the Maui County Code and turning to state statutes offers that it is OK, so long as cyclist yields to pedestrians and travels no more than 10 MPH, except in business districts. Are these areas designated by the county’s zoning districts, B-1 and B-2? Thus, would it be permissible in hotel or apartment zones? How would a cyclist know where it is allowable to ride on the sidewalk?

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A: You are correct. Hawaii Revised Statute 291C-148 prohibits riding a bike on a sidewalk in business districts. In other areas, it is allowed if the bike is traveling at 10 mph or less and if the driver yields the right-of-way to any pedestrians. HRS 291C-1 defines business districts very broadly as areas with buildings in use for business or industrial purposes. Please note that this description does not relate to county business zoning districts.

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Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: [email protected], phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.

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