Maui Food and Dining

New Mayoral Directive Allows Maui Restaurants to Create and Use Outdoor Dining Areas

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Maui Mayor Michael Victorino has issued a directive allowing restaurants to create and use outdoor dining areas to allow physical distancing for patrons and employees while retaining as many seats as possible.

The directive was issued on Dec. 14, became effective immediately, and will continue to be in effect until  further modification or cancellation.

According to the document, no permits are needed, other than described below, for restaurants that adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Expansion should result in the same number, or fewer, seats than pre-COVID-19. The Planning Department will ask for: (a) the pre-COVID-19 floor plan that shows the number of seats, and (b) the expansion floor plan showing indoor and outdoor seating. If the number of seats is the same or fewer with outdoor expansion, then no additional parking will be triggered.
  2. If the expansion uses existing required parking, then the Planning Department will ask about alternative parking for customers, and/ or what options they may have other than driving (e.g., the restaurant is located near a bus stop, or it is in a walkable/bikeable community). Depending on the response, Planning may issue a temporary parking reduction.
  3. If the expansion involves no construction, then no other permits are needed, including Special Management Area review. Tables with umbrellas, chairs, planter boxes and similar temporary fixtures and furniture are acceptable, and must be wind-resistant. Tents of a certain size, awnings and other improvements may require a building permit, as will conventional construction. Tents that together total 400 square feet or larger that do not require a building permit will require the approval of the Department of Fire and Public Safety. Furniture may not be placed within ten feet of driveways, ramps, street intersections, fire hydrants or dry standpipes, and may not be placed over planter strips, tree wells or fire lanes.
  4. If liquor is proposed to be served in the expansion area, the Department of Liquor Control must be contacted.
  5. Expansion cannot occur on public property. If expansion is desired on public property, further review and approvals are required.
  6. If the restaurant proposes to expand onto another parcel, consent of the property owner is required. If the restaurant proposes to expand into a different zoning district, Planning will have to review and determine whether the use can be allowed in that district.
  7. Dining areas must be compliant with ADA requirements, State Department of Health regulations for food service establishments, and COVlD-19 physical distancing requirements. It is recommended that an additional exit for the outdoor dining area be provided.
  8. No amplified music or audio is allowed outside; live music without amplification is allowed until 9 p.m.
  9. Any approvals are temporary and will become invalid when the Governor’s and Mayor’s emergency orders are lifted, at which point the restaurant will remove the expansion and can resume its pre-COVID-19 operations.


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