“Ask the Mayor”
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff. Submit your own 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.
Q: When will something be done about the construction waste on the way to Maalaea from Waikapu? The construction waste is a good 15 feet higher than the road now, and more coming in every day. There needs to be a better plan for this– they should not be allowed to continue to dump or change the elevation and skyline on a very popular tourism passage to Lahaina, and to Kihei from Iao valley. Thanks for all you do.
A: The owners of Maui Demolition & Construction Landfill, Inc., DBA Maalaea Landfill, recently sent a letter to the County stating they will stop accepting waste on Aug. 31, 2016. They will continue to finish the State Department of Health’s (DOH) post-closure requirements with a permit over the next 30 years. This permit is necessary to maintain and monitor the facility, to make sure no fires are ignited and to make sure that adequate cover is maintained.
Hello Mr. Mayor,
Q: How can we stop ohana rentals? Is the island really that small with no space left to build proper roads and proper neighborhoods? No, there is a lot of space left, yet we still cram people into ohana rentals. I have ohana rentals all around me in my neighborhood, and the lack of space it creates is not pleasant! Maui has taken away my ability to enjoy my life living here, no space, privacy or peace! Please stop cramming people in and stop this from continuing! Aloha.
A: You raise an interesting question, to which there are many sides. It’s clear that land and housing costs in Hawaii are among the highest in the nation, and ohana units are a major component of our rental housing stock for local working families. In fact, Honolulu recently adopted a law to allow ohana units for the first time. We would be in dire straits without them, and in recognition of this there is an item pending before the County Council to expand the opportunities for ohanas; for example, one idea is to allow ohanas on smaller lots as long as they are rented at affordable rates, and another would allow two ohanas on larger lots. Some feel like you do, that ohanas take away privacy and space; others feel that they keep family and friends close by. Keep in mind that with or without ohanas, homes can be built up to building setback lines. From the perspective of the County Code, ohanas are called “accessory dwellings” and their sizes and allowed areas are regulated by Chapter 19.35, which was first adopted in 1982 by ordinance no. 1269. Before that, properties were allowed to have “guest houses” for temporary guests, “accessory living quarters” for people employed on the premises and “servants’ quarters” for household servants. As a reflection of the times, ordinance no. 1269 removed these terms from the County Code, and instead allowed “accessory dwellings” in order to “secure affordable housing and to preserve the extended family.” The ordinance, by limiting ohanas to lots that are 7,500 square feet or greater, also recognized the need to provide adequate infrastructure, open space, air and light.
Aloha Mayor Arakawa,
Q: I would like to know why a permit is now required to use Rainbow Park? With the parking lot unavailable (closed gate), people park on top along the very narrow shoulder of the road and then s/tumble down the steep embankment to access the park.
A: A permit is not required for usage of Rainbow Park. Its usage comes under the pavilion guidelines, which include a first-come, first-served policy. The “parking lot” you referred to will only accommodate approximately four cars, if that many. The lot has been gated for a very long time because the portable toilet, which was continually being vandalized, is placed in this area. Because the lot area is extremely small, it also caused safety concerns with park users turning from or onto Baldwin Avenue. Due to funding restrictions, it is not currently feasible to make extensive improvements to this unique but very small park.
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: 808-270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.