WAILUKU - Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa last week signed into law a bill that establishes new regulations for short-term rentals operating within the county.
The Maui County Council voted to approve the bill on Monday by a vote of five to one.
Arakawa said the bill was a "long time in coming."
Pictured at the bill signing are (from left): front — Mayor Alan Arakawa and County Councilman Don Couch; back row — Tom Croly, Catherine Clark and Kerry Ramm of the Maui Vacation Rental Association, and Margit Tolman and Madge Schaefer of the Maui Meadows Neighborhood Association. Photo by the County of Maui/Ryan Piros.
"This bill has been in the works for about 15 or 20 years now," Arakawa said. "I'd like to acknowledge all the hard work that went into this, especially from our Maui County Council members.
"This legislation should protect our residents from noisy rental operations while at the same time allowing legitimate rentals a way to conduct their business."
Although the bill is now law, the Planning Department asks the public to delay submitting any short-term rental applications until June 1. The pause will allow the department to prepare for what they expect to be a flood of applications.
"We've all worked really hard on this bill - the Planning Department and the council - and we're happy with the final version," said Planning Director Will Spence. "The department will be ready by the end of next week to accept applications and implement the bill, and we hope to see significant compliance over the next several months."
Councilman Don Couch, chair of the council's Planning Committee, described the bill as a tool to "protect the character of neighborhoods while allowing an industry that has been in the background to come out in the open and provide jobs for Maui's small businesses.
"I want to thank the vice-chair of my committee, Councilmember Gladys Baisa, for introducing this bill," Couch said. "Also mahalo to Bev Livingston, Madge Schaefer, Cathy Clark and Kerry Ramm. These four ladies are members of the community who were on many sides of this issue, but they got together and hammered out a balanced bill that will benefit everyone."