Draft Ordinance Proposed Seeking New Fines for Illegal Vacation Rentals

August 29, 2019, 2:57 PM HST · Updated August 29, 2:57 PM
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The administration of Maui Mayor Michael Victorino submitted a proposed ordinance to the Maui County Council seeking to implement new fines in an effort to strengthen enforcement against illegal vacation rentals.

“In November 2018, voters approved an increase in fines for illegal vacation rentals,” Mayor Victorino said. “The charter amendment increased fines from an initial fine of $1,000 and $1,000 per day to a $20,000 initial fine and $10,000 per day.

“For illegal operators, a $1,000 fine can be a mere cost of doing business, especially for properties renting for $2,500 or more per night,” Mayor Victorino said. “But fines of $20,000 and then $10,000 per day carry a much greater sting that, hopefully, will compel compliance with Maui County ordinances governing vacation rentals.”

Following the November vote in favor of the Charter amendment, the Department of Planning drafted an ordinance that matches the amendment. The department sought and received input from the Maui, Molokai and Lanai planning commissions. The draft ordinance was submitted to the County Council on July 5. On July 19, the measure was referred to the Planning & Sustainable Land Use Committee.

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“My hope is that the Council’s Planning & Sustainable Land Use Committee will take up this draft ordinance for discussion and recommend approval to the full council quickly,” Mayor Victorino said. “These increased fines would add more teeth to our enforcement efforts and encourage voluntary compliance with the County Code.”

Planning Director Michele Chouteau McLean said: “We will begin imposing these fines as soon as the code amendment takes place.”

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