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Mayor Victorino vetoes hotel moratorium bill

Mayor Michael Victorino announced his veto of Bill 148 (2021) Draft 1 on Wednesday. The bill would establish a moratorium on new transient accommodations in all zoning districts on Maui.  

“If we don’t provide the right type of visitor accommodations in the right places, we could see an influx of vacation rentals in our residential neighborhoods.  We’ve already seen this happen with vehicle rentals as residents bridged the gap during the period where rental vehicles were unavailable,” said Mayor Victorino.

According to the draft bill, the purpose of the moratorium is to comply with the Maui Island Plan, by putting a pause on an increase in transient accommodations and tourism.

“The pause will maintain the number of current transient accommodation units until the council enacts legislation implementing appropriate recommendations presented by a Budget, Finance, and Economic Development Committee-established tourism management temporary investigative group, which establishes a transient accommodation limit categorized by accommodation type and by community plan area, or two years from the effective date of the ordinance establishing this chapter, whichever is sooner.”

The draft bill further states that the temporary investigative group may investigate and recommend actions including the carrying capacity for the island in the Maui Island Plan and for heavily visited and traversed locations, “addressing infrastructure loads of roadways, wastewater facilities, water use, other County facilities, and environmental impacts.”

In the draft document, the council found that “under-regulated growth of transient accommodations and continued development of transient accommodations directly relate to an increase in tourism, which causes negative impacts on the environment, overwhelms existing County infrastructure, and negatively impacts residents’ quality of life.”

The mayor said he feels the moratorium would worsen an already “dire housing crisis” by renting to visitors and taking away housing that is needed by Mauiʻs working families.

The Bill passed second and final reading on Dec. 3, 2021.  

The document further states that it does not apply to the processing, approval, or granting of any application for the approval of a new transient accommodation that has received its final discretionary approval” prior to the effective date of the Ordinance.

According to the mayor, three amendments were made without advance public notice “therefore, the public did not have the opportunity to provide input on the impact of the changes.”

Mayor Victorino urged the Council to reconsider passage of the bill.

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2021/12/23/mayor-victorino-vetoes-hotel-moratorium-bill/

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