Ask the Mayor
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: Until several years ago, many of the Wailea hotels monopolized the space at Wailea and Polo beaches by setting up large numbers of umbrellas and lounge chairs for the exclusive use of their guests, so that there would be little beach space remaining for the general public that arrived later in the morning. That practice largely stopped; I understood that County regulations may have prohibited the hotels from setting up umbrellas or lounge chairs until a guest requested one. However, one resort on the Makena end of Wailea continues to attempt to control areas of the public beach in front of its property from time to time. Am I correct that hotels are not allowed to set up umbrellas and lounge chairs on our public beaches in advance of a guest request? If so, why is this resort’s violations of this policy tolerated?
A: Beach chairs and umbrellas are usually placed in areas that are not under the County’s jurisdiction. Even at County beach parks, anything below the high-water line is State property. However, if you notice resort amenities being placed above the high-water line at a County beach park, such as Polo Beach, you may contact the County Parks Department at 270-7230. The department can follow up at the specific location to verify whether it is occurring on Parks property, and can also follow up with the State if a violation appears to be occurring on State property. You might want to take a cell phone photo if you have one handy.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: Is there an ordinance that dictates or prevents roadside vendors from selling at a location that is too close to residential areas? There is a homeless couple who live out of their van adjacent to Makena park and set up a roadside stand adjacent to private property on Makena Road. Who can be contacted about this if it is in fact illegal? Mahalo.
A: Makena Road is a State road, thus the State Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) would be tasked with enforcement. Since vending may only be conducted on property zoned for such use, the County could also enforce if it’s a zoning violation. For road-side vendors along County roadsides, vendor licenses from the County of Maui Department of Finance are required. The licensing process dictates where they are allowed to sell on County right-of-ways, such as along County roads and parking stalls. The permits are issued after comments are received from the departments of Planning and Police. The issuance of a County vendor permit is based on Maui County Code Chapter 5.12, which requires vendors to display their permit at all times but does not place any specific restrictions on the distance from a residential area to the vendor’s truck. If a vendor is located along a County roadway and does not have a County vending permit displayed, a Request for Service (RFS) complaint may be filed online at www.mauicounty.gov/RFS.
Q. My neighbors don’t live on Maui, but it seems like their house is always full of short-term tenants. I see different people there every month; some of them keep to themselves and some of them are very rude. These people seem to be staying too long for your typical tourist but much shorter than the average resident. Can my neighbors rent out their home with that kind of fast turnaround? I thought they had to at least live on-site for that to happen.
A. No, residential zoning districts only allow for long-term residential use, which is 180 days or longer. Anything shorter than that, which is what it seems you are describing, would require a permit. A bed-and-breakfast permit requires that the owner or manager live on property and that rooms can be rented out to different parties. A short-term rental permit does not require an on-site presence like B&Bs, but the home can only be rented to one party at a time. Both permits allow up to six bedrooms to be rented. If it’s not being used as a B&B or a short-term rental then a conditional use permit would be required for occupancy less than 180 days. You can file a Request for Services (RFS) online so that we may look into your neighbor’s situation. Just click on this link to initiate the RFS process: www.mauicounty.gov/RFS. Keep in mind that if no fees are being charged and the unit is not being advertised, friends are allowed to stay in the home as a residential use.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.