February 26, 2020

The Planning Department needs to hear your input at their meeting!

Public Meeting on Possible phase-out of Short Term Rental Home permits on Maui

This is an Informational meeting, opportunity for people to get their remarks on record on: 

The possible phase-out of STRH permits on Maui
Friday, March 6, 2020, 3pm
Maui Planning Department Conference Room
250 South High Street
Kalana Pakui Bldg, #200
Wailuku, Maui, HI 96793

The Planning Department is in the process of preparing legislation to repeal the STRH ordinance and not renew any STRH permits in the future. Right now, they are soliciting public input on this proposal. It is imperative that EVERYONE either come to this meeting or send in testimony in support of Short Term Rental permits remaining available and about the good that they bring to Maui.

For those who cannot attend, Please SEND AN EMAIL NO LATER than March 5, 2020 so your voice will be heard.  
for quick reference:

We are asking that everyone also bcc’s us on their written information, so we can also keep track.

This is a chance to let the Planning Department know what your remarks would be on their proposed phase-out of short term rental home permits.

We encourage everyone who works in the industry to attend this meeting. Please to let their managers and other small business people that they work with, like housekeepers, landscapers, and such, know. It would be useful for the department to hear from people who make their living this way. Perhaps the most valuable testimony would come from the neighbors of your short term rental. If your neighbor is in support of your rental, because you make a nice neighbor to have. Then please ask them to tell the Planning Department so.

The Planning Department is asking for our feedback on how these jobs are valuable to the small business community, and how people who choose to have a small business in this manner do so because it has advantages over having a job at the hotels. 

Here are some other important talking points that you can use in your testimony:

  • Permits are not transferable and Applicants must own property for five years before making an application to ensure that STRHs can NEVER have any impact on housing prices or availability of housing for residential uses. This has been definitively proven in that less than 1/2 of 1 percent of houses sold in the past 8 years have been issued STRH permits. Permitted STRHs have never impacted housing availability or costs.
  • One important point is that the STR homes tend to be higher end homes. Without an STR permit, they will simply sit empty as they are “second homes”, not “investment homes”. Most of these owners spend 1 to 5 months of the year in Maui, so these will never convert to long term housing. Rather than being empty, they are providing jobs for managers, agents, housekeepers etc. These are jobs that allow residents to live/work within their community, which is a goal of our community plan. As an example, the housekeepers that we use in Haiku / Paia have no desire to travel to Wailea or Kaanapali every day.  
  • The permitted homes have proven that they can blend into their communities, with almost NO complaints.  
  • This is the future of our visitor industry. Hyatt and Marriott are both getting into the short term rental business, forming alliances or making purchases to give them access to homes and condos. Many hotel brands are investing in timeshare kinds of buildings. 
  • With the promise of being able to operate legally, homeowners made the requested modifications, etc to their properties, some at great expense. It is extremely unfair and unethical to say “well we said you could, but now we changed our minds.
  • If the department is concerned about the work load to renew 250 permits (approx. 50 renewals each year), then revise the ordinance to say that permits will remain in effect until a) the property is sold, b) “x” valid neighbor complaints, c) property is not being operated in accordance with the provisions of 19.65.
  • 229 STR's are not changing communities. People buying second homes where long term families lived, is changing the neighborhoods. Those numbers are closer to 8000 or higher.
  • The median earner in Hawaii can't afford the median priced home. Until this is solved, our neighborhoods are changing and 229 STR's have virtually nothing to do with this.
  • We need to give the department more information on the difference between running your own housekeeping business, versus working for the resorts as a full-time housekeeper employee which is around $14.10/hour average according to Indeed job placement website.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Jen Russo
Executive Director
MVRA cannot take on this battle alone! We need your membership NOW! If you want to be kept up to date on government actions with our newsletters. JOIN NOW!  

If you prefer to mail your membership dues, send checks to MVRA to 140 Hoohana St. Suite 210, Kahului, HI, 96732. 
LET US KNOW if you would be interested in organizing an STRH tour for council members, or if you are good at writing press releases, or if you can do graphic design, or if you would like to organize a Habitat for Humanity / MVRA event, or think you could be helpful in creating info for our website repository for guests and members with Cultural History, Hawaiian Culture, Ocean Safety, Environmental Awareness, etc.


Did you read our last newsletter update? We covered our recent annual meeting, Molokai's Zero Cap, the latest planning department enforcement report and much more. You can check it out here: https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Planning-Department--Possible-Phase-Out-of-Short-Term-Rental-Home-Permits.html?soid=1102067254153&aid=l8kXZTEkIZs

A new  Maui Vacation Rental Association Website  is up - and we have begin renewing memberships in the new system. If you haven't signed up, please do so! Your membership is critical to the work we do. Please take a moment to respond to invoices and login to the new site. We will be sending future emails from this new system. We will continue to develop this site with County updates, featured properties, new member highlights, and directories of vendor businesses. There are new monthly membership payment options as well. Please keep an eye out for membership emails coming from the new site and email me with any questions on this process.