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Ask the Mayor: Is there a Limit of TVRs in Each Neighborhood?

February 26, 2017, 12:30 PM HST · Updated March 6, 2:15 PM
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Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Hawaii Vacation Rental. Courtesy of TripAdvisor.

Dear Mayor,

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Q: In recent years, five Transient Vacation Rentals have been licensed to operate in our neighborhood and two or three more applications are pending. Strangers regularly walk up and down the street, and tourists party late at night.

  1. This does not “retain the character of a residential neighborhood” as outlined in County Ordinance 3941. There is a limit of 88 TVRs in West Maui – so why do we have five in our small neighborhood?

 

  1. A: There are procedures in place to allow neighbors such as yourself the opportunity to comment on pending applications. Short-term rental homes are regulated by Maui County Code Chapter 19.65, which requires applicants to send a Notice of Application to all owners and recorded lessees within a 500-foot radius of the proposed STRH property. (If someone is not a recorded lessee—and many tenants are not—they would not receive this notice.)
  2. STRH permits can be approved administratively by the Planning Department, or they require action by the planning commission under several circumstances, including if: (1) the Department receives two or more written protests from owners or recorded lessees of lots adjacent to or directly across the street, (2) if the Department receives written protests from 30% or more of the owners or recorded lessees within 500 feet when there are fewer than 40 lots within 500 feet, (3) if the Department receives written protests from 15% or more of the owners or recorded lessees within 500 feet when there are 40 or more lots within 500 feet, or (4) an existing STRH home is operating within 500 feet. In these cases, all comment letters are presented to the planning commission for consideration, and a public hearing is held where testimony can be provided by anyone.
  3. The applicant also has to send a Notice of Public Hearing to the owners and recorded lessees. After the public hearing, the planning commission has the authority to deny or approve the permit.
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