Vacation Rental Legislation Moving Forward

Vacation rental legislation moving forward

February 27, 2011 – By ILIMA LOOMIS, Staff Writer
Article from: The Maui News

WAILUKU – Vacation rentals would be limited to no more than two units per lot, and the county would set a cap on the number of rentals allowed in each district, under proposed regulations being discussed Monday by the Maui County Council Planning Committee.

The long-awaited legislation comes more than two years after the council adopted similar rules for bed-and-breakfast operations.

In addition to regulating them, the proposed legislation would also create a clear process for the county to approve short-term rental permits.

The committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. Monday in eighth-floor Council Chambers to consider sending the draft legislation to the Maui, Molokai and Lanai planning commissions for comment.

“At any (vacation) destination, there has always been a need for short-term rentals, as well as B&Bs,” said Planning Chairman Don Couch.

“We want to make it so it works both for residential areas as well as for the visitor industry.”

Some provisions of the draft include limiting the number of bedrooms that could be used as vacation rentals to six per home on Maui and Lanai, and three per home on Molokai. It would also require off-street parking for all guests, set “quiet hours” from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m., and require rentals to be marked with small signs.

While bed-and-breakfast operations have the owner living on-site, vacation rentals do not.

One rule in the proposal would require that owners who do not live in the county full time designate an on-site caretaker or an off-site manager.

County Council Member Gladys Baisa said she was “very excited” the legislation was finally moving forward.

Baisa oversaw the council’s passage of B&B regulations three years ago, and helped draft the short-term rental legislation. She called the draft “a good beginning point.”

She acknowledged that there remains more public concern about vacation rentals, because of the lack of an on-site caretaker or owner.

“We’re aware that short-term rental legislation is going to be more challenging,” she said. “But it’s something we must deal with.”

County Planning Director Will Spence said he was still reviewing the proposal, but said he did believe that there was a place for vacation rentals in Maui’s economy.

“That’s with the caveat that there should be some kind of review,” he said.