WAILUKU – Upon an agreement by Mayor Alan Arakawa and the Maui County Council, the Department of Planning has levied fines totaling half a million dollars against Michael Baskin, the owner and operator of three vacation rentals in Paia. This is the largest fine in the history of the department, resulting from numerous violations of the Short Term Rental Home, SMA, zoning, and building codes laws. All told, the county issued 30 Notices of Violation.
Some of the violations include:
- Converting garages and a shed to short term rental rooms
- Renting more rooms than his permits allowed
- Building a parking lot with no permits
- Building an enclosure that together housed a propane tank and a water heater
- Constructing building additions with no permits
In addition to the violations, Planning also revoked two short term rental home permits and did not renew another for misrepresentations made in the applications.
The county launched an investigation into Paia Inn back in May 2013 as a result of complaints. After several site inspections county officials discovered numerous SMA, zoning, permit and building code violations.
Since then the county has attempted to settle this matter with Mr. Baskin in court and through mediation. Mayor Arakawa and Maui County Council members have agreed that Mr. Baskin will pay $500,000.00 in fines in two installments, remove all illegal structures or obtain after-the-fact permits for those structures which can be made legal. An additional $500,000 fine will be triggered if any terms of the agreement are violated. These permits with be reinstated under these terms and subject to original conditions.
“We are pleased that this two year process is complete, and we can move to other phases. The Planning Department wants to help all of our residents and businesses meet county codes and standards but in turn they need to work with us and follow county rules and regulations as well,” said Planning Director Will Spence. “These rules are there to protect our environment and the populace and they must be followed.”