Maui Council Refers Bill 60 to Committee Relating to “Hotel Construction Moratorium”
The Maui County Council today decided to refer Bill 60, the proposed hotel construction moratorium bill, to the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee.
Mayor Victorino issued a statement today saying:
“I share the community’s concerns about the direction of tourism in the County of Maui and I deeply appreciate the Maui County Council’s work on Bill 60. However, it would be ineffective in transforming our hospitality industry to be more compatible with the needs of our community and natural environment.
“By working together, I am confident we can develop a comprehensive plan to control the expansion of all transient accommodations, especially those creeping into our residential neighborhoods. My administration looks forward to working with the Maui County Council and all stakeholders to develop a more thoughtful plan for managing tourism.”
The measure was introduced by Councilmember Kelly Takaya King of South Maui, and was vetoed by Maui Mayor Michael Victorino on July 20, 2021. According to Mayor Victorino, the Council’s veto override failed to pass, and the measure was referred to committee.
Under Bill 60, the council sought to impose interim restrictions on new visitor accommodations to allow the County time to implement critical plan action items relating to visitor industry impact on the County’s environment and work towards resilience.
The Mayor’s administration maintained that Bill 60 would not relieve crowds at Kahului Airport, reduce traffic on Maui’s roadways, or solve the problem of transient vacation rentals operating in neighborhoods; but rather, simply limit the choice of visitor accommodations in West and South Maui for the next 5-10 years.
In defending the bill from the mayor’s veto two weeks ago, King had said, “We have heard that we are on our way to better managed tourism for years while little serious action followed, visitor numbers skyrocketed, and the quality of life and our unique environmental resources continue to erode. The moratorium pauses visitor accommodation construction, addresses the injury residents are feeling, and gives stakeholders an opportunity to create solutions without simultaneously making things worse,” said King.