Thousands Sign Petition Against Pā‘ia Inn Permit Request
*This story has been amended to include comment from Pāʻia Inn owner Michael Baskin, who contacted Maui Now with additional information about his business and the contested case.
A contested case involving a special use permit for the nine-room Pāʻia Inn and café along Maui’s north shore, has been remanded back to the Maui Planning Commission for review.
An online “No Hotels in Pāʻia” petition against the project has drawn more than 2,000 signatures since it was launched on Monday.
Those opposed to the project say the community plan does not call for hotels or any resort to be in the Pāʻia/Haʻikū community. The petitioners say they have seen tourism, real estate, and commercialism “grow beyond the island’s infrastructure and resource capacity.”
Owner Michael Baskin contacted Maui Now saying, “Most people who have signed the petition are signing thinking that there is a new hotel resort development coming to the town. That is not the case. There is no construction whatsoever being done. The Pāʻia Inn has already been constructed and has been existing since 1927.”
A permit for the transient vacation rental was denied by the commission in December of 2016, but Seashore Properties owner, Michael Baskin appealed the ruling to the circuit court, and the case was sent back to the Planning Commission for additional consideration.
The Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday considered the appointment of a hearings officer for the case and heard public testimony, but was not expected to rule at the time on the substance of the previous application. According to Baskin, “the commission voted in favor of sending the matter back to a hearings officer because they made errors in their review of the presentation that was done a year ago.”
The Pāʻia Inn property is located at 93 Hāna Highway in Pāʻia.
Baskin feels that the petition “is really more towards no hotel resort developments on the North Shore then it is directed to my business.”
He continued saying, “We also are in favor of no hotel resort development which we are not. We are a five room simply changing four existing offices to accommodations for a total of nine rooms. The county passed an ordinance that allows up to 12 rooms and therefore we will only be nine when 12 is permitted.”
The property was the subject of a County Planning Department investigation in May 2013 as a result of complaints in which SMA, zoning, permit and building code violations were identified. In 2015, the department levied fines totaling a half million dollars against Baskin. At the time, Baskin defended his business and called the application process “confusing and misleading,” saying he did his best to comply with what was a brand new ordinance at the time.