Ask the Mayor: How Can Businesses Operate Without a Certificate of Occupancy?

April 23, 2018, 2:51 PM HST · Updated April 23, 2:52 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, (808) 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

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

Dear Mayor Alan Arakawa,


Q: How is it that businesses can operate without a certificate of occupancy… and continue to do so for years on end, without the county shutting them down?

A: Obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy is very important and depending on what kind of business is occupying the space, it could need approvals from multiple government agencies—from the Department of Water Supply, the fire department, state Department of Health and so on.

If you have a specific business in mind, I suggest you file a Request for Service online and someone will look into the establishments in question.


Keep in mind that if the previous business had a Certificate of Occupancy and the new business is similar to the old one, a new certificate is not needed.



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