Maui News

Short-Term Rental Home Caps Scheduled for Discussion in Committee

June 29, 2021, 6:59 PM HST
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A bill that seeks to lower the cap on short-term rental home permits on Maui from 328 to 259 and to establish a cap of 19 on Lānaʻi will be considered by the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee on Thursday at 9 a.m.

Councilmember Tamara Paltin made the announcement saying the council initiated the legislation on March 13, 2020, by adopting Resolution 20-27 that she introduced, seeking review of proposed caps by the Lānaʻi and Maui planning commissions. Paltin said the Planning Department provided the commissions’ comments in a 149-page letter to the council on Sept. 30.

“With more than 7,600 visitors coming to Maui each day, we are far exceeding the guidance of our Maui Island Plan, which states that there should be only one visitor for every three residents,” said Paltin, who chairs the committee. “The pandemic has presented the opportunity for us to embrace ‘responsible tourism,’ which prioritizes the needs of local communities and establishes strict best practices to preserve and conserve natural resources.”

Maui County Council Member Tamara Paltin

Paltin said the pandemic has also impacted the county’s housing market,  with median sales prices for single-family homes jumping nearly 30% over the last year.

“Increased housing costs have forced many locals to move to the Mainland,” said Paltin, who is in her second term holding the council seat for the West Maui residency area. “Personally, I have experienced the loss of immediate family members moving away for more affordable options.”

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“Reducing the number of short-term rental homes will open up more long-term options for residents.”

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Paltin said the bill’s most significant changes would be to lower the number of allowed short-term rental home permits in Wailuku-Kahului from 36 to six and in Makawao-Pukalani-Kula from 40 to 12. The new caps would match the number of existing permits for both areas, she said.

Short-term rental homes are defined in Chapter 19.65 of the Maui County Code as vacation rentals in areas where zoning doesn’t allow hotels and the operator doesn’t reside on the property.

Members of the public can view the meeting on Akaku Channel 53 or provide testimony via the video conference link or phone number listed on the meeting agenda at MauiCounty.us/agendas.

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In addition to receiving testimony by phone or video conference, the committee will accept written testimony. For instructions on submitting written testimony, please visit http://MauiCounty.us/ecomment/.

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