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Ask the Mayor: Please Explain the B&B “500 Foot Rule”

November 5, 2018, 1:46 PM HST · Updated November 5, 11:51 AM
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Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his staff.

Dear Mayor Alan Arakawa,

Q: Can you please explain what the 500 foot rule for short term rentals, B&B’s and other vacation housing really means.

For example, on my small block in Kīhei we have about seven homes. Currently on this block we have a permitted B&B as well as a short term rental.  An un-permitted B&B was closed down a while ago and an operating Air BnB terminated their short term rental application due to illness.

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Around the corner is another short term rental – all within 500 feet of each other – actually real distance is within just a couple of hundred feet – some within 50 feet or less.

A: The 500 foot rule is not a restriction but it does trigger a notification process which may trigger a Planning Commission hearing.

Most of the Planning Department’s permit applications require that the applicant send a “notice of application” to all owners and recorded lessees within a 500 foot radius of the property so the neighborhood knows what’s going on.

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If anyone objects to these sorts of short term rentals then that application gets reviewed by the Planning Commission, or if there’s already another short term rental or bed & breakfast operating within 500 feet.

If that happens the applicant must also send a “notice of public hearing” to their neighbors as well, so people know that there’s a hearing and can show up and testify.

Want to ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, by phone at (808) 270-7855 or via mail to 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaiʻi 96793.

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

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