Maui News

Investigative Report on Maui Housing Inventory Includes “Tiny Home” Options

October 20, 2016, 8:04 AM HST
* Updated October 20, 8:14 AM
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Jen Chalupsky in the entrance of an Island Tiny Home. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, 

Jen Chalupsky in the entrance of an Island Tiny Home. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa,

A temporary investigative group filed a report with the Planning Committee focused on increasing the County’s housing inventory.

The group was chaired by Councilmember Elle Cochran, with Councilmembers Gladys Baisa and Don Couch serving as members.

The group convened on five meeting dates between Aug.1 and Sept. 22, 2016, and identified five items that if implemented would help to improve housing inventory for Maui County.

The highest priority item was legislation needed to amend the zoning ordinance to allow accessory or affordable accessory dwellings on smaller lots.

The reports states that the change would immediately result in the potential for building additional homes without the need for other land use entitlements or applications.  The down side is the potential to increase the density of development in already crowded or compact residential areas.


The second item identified would seek to identify which parcels within the urban growth boundary of the Maui Island Plan are appropriate for comprehensive rezoning by the Council.


Item #3 would expediting the building plan review process by developing a catalog of pre-approved plans. According to the document, this would, “allow building designs that have already been approved and given a design registration number to be kept in a catalog of pre-approved plans for use by the public.”

Interested parties would then be able to use a pre-approved design on their approved lot, saving the time and money that comes with the design and approval process. Architects may provide their designs free of charge or on a fee-per-use basis.

Item #4 would explore zoning and permitting issues relating to the establishment of “tiny house” communities and tiny houses on existing lots.  The group recommended investigating the use of tiny homes in the County including how to define the term “tiny home,” whether tiny homes could be clustered and where, what services (roadways, water, sanitation, etc.) would be required, and in what zoning districts tiny homes would be allowed.


The fifth item addressed was to identify underdeveloped properties with multifamily and industrial designations that could be targeted for redevelopment as multifamily housing.

The ful 179-page report was released on Oct. 6th and is available for public viewing.

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