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  • Wednesday, November 03, 2021 12:39 PM | Jen Russo (Administrator)

    See the List of Proposed Properties Subject to the phase out:

    11/03/21 PSLU Committee

    On Wednesday's PSLU committee meetingChair Tamara Paltin began with explaining the theme of this meeting:

    “This is really centered around General plan 1D: to maintain a sustainable balance between the resident, part-time resident and visitor populations. This is not about Hotel industry or Short term rental industry or visitor industry. It is more about our residents and the vision they had and their quality of life.”

    Chair then went on to explain that for PSLU 34, on phasing out TVR use in apartment districts they have a new proposal. This proposal sponsored by Councilmember Rawlins Fernandez seeks a phase out bill that would allow for TVR use to continue for all buildings in the sea level rise exposure area. However, all the properties outside the SLRExA would lose the right to conduct TVRs on January 1, 2023. This potential affects 3000 units.

    Thank you so much for those who took the time to oppose this measure on Wednesday! The meeting went on to have over 100 on the oral testimony list, and public testimony went on through 9am-3pm. To watch the meeting go here: http://mauicounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=149

    There was 200 pieces of written testimony was submitted, you can see that here: 

    https://mauicounty.granicusideas.com/meetings/1438-planning-and-sustainable-land-use-committee-2021-on-2021-11-03-9-00-am/agenda_items

    The committee voted unanimously to defer this item to a future committee meeting date. The next discussion will focus on the new proposal. The county planning department has since submitted a list of properties that are in or abut the sea level rise exposure area. These would be the properties allowed to remain doing TVR use. This new proposal also changes its intent to just create housing, not necessarily affordable housing. 

    MVRA has created a list to show what properties are subject to this new phase out. See that here

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vSruJ0CUYT7f1GsbNfP_WJVHaOgEY3FDpWjRUQd8OATX8z-7Ym5jK3ZTaD6dDsvVAg4zVPBqXqe9kyb/pubhtml


    See a portion of this new bill's intent below:


    Chair Paltin also explained that she feels that “we need housing for everybody, many of these units used to be housing for everybody prior to 2014.” and gave a brief history lesson of these units. Tom Croly testified and added to that history lesson, recalling that many of these buildings and units actually did do vacation rental use prior to 2014, as it was an allowed use for them all along.

    Phasing out 3000 legal vacation rentals will certainly divest these property owners of rights, and further identification of these buildings units, and what kind of housing would be created, if it was used for vacation rental in the past, and researching any other unintended consequences should be the next steps. Stay tuned for more meetups and discussion on the issues and unintended consequences of this newest TVR Phase out.

    In addition, at that meeting on Wednesday the visitor accommodation Moratorium proposal passed out of committee and onto the council. This proposal if passed will pause any vacation accommodation permits, including hotel, condo, or STRH, for two years.

    What should you do? 

    Support us!

    Transient Vacation Rental owners can join MVRA at MVRA.NET/JOIN

    Be informed, take action, and educate your guests.


  • Monday, November 01, 2021 1:49 PM | Jen Russo (Administrator)

    Phasing Out Vacation Rentals in the Apartment District

    The proposed Phasing Out of Transient Accommodations in the Apartment District is on the agenda in the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee meeting this Wednesday, November 3rd at 9am. This proposal will affect all of us, and we recommend giving oral testimony or submitting testimony for this meeting.

    Some of the issues with this proposal:

    This proposal suggests a sunset date whereby any sale or transfer of title on properties after that date will no longer be able to do transient vacation rental use. This use has been explicitly legal in our county code, and many of these buildings in the apartment districts have been engaged in this legal use for many years. These properties have made the largest contributions to affordable housing, and the county’s budget. Since 2018, Maui’s vacation rentals have contributed $18.9 million towards affordable housing, more than all the hotels, all the homeowners and all other businesses COMBINED! This year the legal short term rentals generated $8.5M for the affordable housing fund.

    This bill could potentially defund affordable housing for Maui County at a time when we need it most. The intent of this proposed phase out bill is to create affordable housing, however, most of these properties would not be affordable to rent. Many of these properties do not have storage and parking that is appropriate for affordable housing.

    This bill could result in a potential loss of $74M in Real Property Tax revenue for the county of Maui, and a loss of $69M in TAT Revenue for the State. The result will be an increase in taxes for Maui residents. 

    Please take a moment to tell your story, how this proposal affects you, and the network of small businesses that you support.

    What can you do?

    If you have a vacation rental operation in the apartment district or this concerns you, please reach out to your council members, send testimony, or better yet give oral testimony at this week’s County Council meeting. 

    Item you are testifying on is PSLU-34

    To testify: Meeting of November 3, 2021 9:00 AM will be held virtual online here: BlueJeans link https://bluejeans.com/149341846

    To phone in testimony:To join the meeting by phone, call 1-408-915-6290, and enter meeting code 149 341 846


    To submit written testimony:

    Go to https://mauicounty.granicusideas.com/meetings/1438-planning-and-sustainable-land-use-committee-2021-on-2021-11-03-9-00-am/agenda_items/617b54d0f2b67075970158b3-pslu-34-cc-21-422-phasing-out-transient-accommodat

    View the agenda here: https://mauicounty.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=901831&GUID=D7AA512E-D668-48C6-85F9-6C1FBB940823

    To view the proposed bill and committee report: https://mauicounty.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=9924078&GUID=03DC0520-4C86-4EAB-8543-97F2AB200AE5

    Finally, feel free to reach out to your County Council representatives via email or phone: 

    Alice Lee, Council Chair: Alice.Lee@mauicounty.us, Phone: (808) 270-7760; 

    Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, Council Vice Chair: Keani.Rawlins@mauicounty.us, Phone: (808) 270-7678;

    Tasha Kama, Presiding Officer Pro Tempore of the Maui County Council: Tasha.Kama@mauicounty.us, Phone: (808) 270-5501; 

    Gabe Johnson, Councilmember: Gabe.Johnson@mauicounty.us, Phone: (808) 270-7768; 

    Kelly King, Councilmember: Kelly.King@mauicounty.us, Phone: (808) 270-7108;

    Mike Molina, Councilmember: Mike.Molina@mauicounty.us, Phone: (808) 270-5507;

    Tamara Paltin, Councilmember, Chair of Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee: Tamara.Paltin@mauicounty.us, Phone: (808) 270-5504;

    Shane Sinenci, Councilmember: Shane.Sinenci@mauicounty.us, Phone: (808) 270-7246;

    Yuki Lei Sugimura, Councilmember: Yukilei.Sugimura@mauicounty.us, Phone: (808) 270-7939


    SUBMIT TESTIMONY

    Submit Testimony

    Some talking points for this discussion:

    • If you own property, how much would you have to charge for a monthly rent in order to cover costs? Is it affordable?
    • How will this affect decisions like hiring contractors, renovations and maintenance? An unintended consequence is a decline in the construction industry.
    • Are there other small businesses that you work with that will be affected?
    • If this legislation is passed, we estimate that the County stands to lose as much as $74 million in property tax revenue annually, or 8.77% of the total operating budget
    • This loss in revenue would make it difficult for the County to maintain the services it currently provides, and it would make it impossible to increase funding to the Affordable Housing Fund.
    • Without the revenue, there is no investment in Affordable Housing, and there will be property tax increases for everyone else.
    • Many of these buildings and units are built along the shoreline, or are 30+ years old. These kinds of buildings tend to have special assessments and additional expenses and would not be suitable for affordable housing.

    Our colleagues at the Realtor Association of Maui also summarized nicely:

    The top 5 reasons why we oppose this legislation:

    1. Basic Economics: The Director of the Department of Finance has already warned the County Council that this move “would possibly lead to a negative revenue change at about $23 MILLION per year.” Overall, RAM has determined that these impacted properties represent upwards of $74 Million in property tax revenue per year (that is about 8.7% of the entire budget!). Eliminating this much revenue would make it hard for the county to maintain current services, and it would jeopardize the county’s bond rating.
    2. It Will Defund the Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan: The 2021 Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan calls for the county to: (1)“Increase funding into the Affordable Housing Fund to $58 million annually;” and (2) For the County to use its bond rating to borrow against the increased Affordable Housing Fund as a means to fund infrastructure updates to support affordable housing development.The TVR Phase Out Bill would make both of these goals virtually impossible! Hawaiian Community Assets, the authors of the plan, agree with this assessment.
    3. The Bill Does Not Create Long-Term Affordable Housing Opportunities for Residents: TVR use in the subject condominiums is an incentive for investment purchasers to seek out and purchase these aging condominiums instead of other residential properties on the island. If there is no difference between the permitted uses allowed in an aging 1 bedroom condominium in Kihei or a 3 bedroom home in Waihee or Makawao, but the prices are comparable, an investment purchaser might as well buy the 3 bedroom home that would have been more suitable for one of our residents. Also, even if these properties lose TVR use, they are generally not the type of housing our residents need, and they will likely not sell at rates many of our residents can afford. The subject properties are all 30+ years old, primarily built and designed as TVRs, largely located in the sea level rise exposure area, and have aged infrastructure that has been used hard for many years. That means they have minimal parking, minimal storage, high maintenance fees, high special assessments, high tax assessments, and are in the areas most susceptible to climate change. Given the current prices of comparable non-TVR units and the average monthly maintenance fees of these units, few (if any) can be expected to sell at “affordable” or even “workforce” rates.
    4. This Bill is a Huge Gift to the Hotel Industry: Eliminating TVR use in the subject condominiums only benefits the hotel industry, as it will be eliminating their only real competition while negatively impacting county revenue and affordable housing development. With no competition, the hotels will maximize their capacity and realize huge gains in revenue. Naturally, much of this revenue will go back into advertising Maui as a destination, thereby increasing the numbers of tourists visiting the islands. Throughout the pandemic period, the County of Maui already demonstrated great preference for the hotels and resorts, and this further gift of eliminating their competition almost entirely is alarming and arguably inappropriate.
    5. Legal Challenges: Many property owners have already contacted RAM and expressed their intent to take legal action against the County of Maui if their property rights are abridged. Though HRS Section 46-4 ostensibly provides the counties authority to phase out “nonconforming” uses in the Apartment zoning districts, it is difficult to classify TVR use as “nonconforming” for these subject properties. TVR use is expressly permitted in the language of the comprehensive zoning ordinance, and has been stated as expressly permitted in several pieces of legislation over the past 7 years. TVR use has been conducted in the A-1 and A-2 districts by thousands of property owners, throughout hundreds of buildings, over the course of decades. It is unclear if impacted property owners would win a legal challenge against the County of Maui, but it may cost our county a lot of money and time to find out.

    Put your testimony into your own words, and add your own personal experience. Mahalo!


  • Monday, September 06, 2021 5:42 AM | Jen Russo (Administrator)

    SIGN UPS ARE OPEN!


    Our next meet up is for Bed and Breakfast Operators and Short Term Rental Home Permit holders. We will be discussing the renewal process, filing for your renewal and what to look out for and what to expect.


    Many operators and managers are either in the process, have recently renewed, or will renew soon. We will have a presentation from Tom Croly with Q&A, and we would like members to share their own renewal experiences to help others be better prepared. 

    Looking forward to seeing you there!

    If you have any questions please email them to me at jenrusso@mauivacationrentalassociation.org


    Sign Up Now!


  • Thursday, August 26, 2021 5:25 AM | Jen Russo (Administrator)

    Proposal to Phase out Vacation Rentals in Apartment Zones starting 12/31/21


    Maui County Council has Proposed a Bill to Phase Out of Vacation Rentals. This bill proposed today in council says that it intends to create more units available for residential use by phasing out transient accommodations in the apartment districts. 


    The resolution says current vacation use is allowed in buildings within the apartment zoned areas until a date after 12/31/2021 when said properties are sold or transferred. So any sale or transfer after 12/31/2021 would mean the vacation rental use of this property is not allowed.


    The buildings in the apartment district that this bill would affect include the properties on this short term occupancy list published by the county Department of Planning. This proposal is heading to a future agenda on the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee.


    Click here for a pdf copy of the proposed bill


    To see the Short term occupancy list of properties in the apartment district:

    https://www.mauicounty.gov/DocumentCenter/View/112945/Short-Term-Occupancy-List-as-of-08182021?bidId=


    At this point, this is just a county communication and the proposal will be discussed in an upcoming PSLU committee first and then be transmitted to the planning commission subsequently. We will keep you updated on the progress and when opportunities arise to submit testimony.


    For more information or updates email membership@mauivacationrentalassociation.org

  • Monday, August 23, 2021 5:30 AM | Jen Russo (Administrator)


    Although the Mayor vetoed bill 60, the visitor accommodation building moratorium bill that was approved by our council, there is another one underway. This one will be heard at the planning commission on September 28th.

    This proposal includes creating a committee that is going to do a temporary inva(TIG) on tourism management. Council member Fernandez Rawlins has said that she plans to work with the hotels on this committee, and we will be reminding them that vacation rentals are a legitimate part of the visitor accommodation industry in Hawaii and need to be included.

    https://www.mauicounty.gov/DocumentCenter/View/127726/Resolution-21-98-referring-to-the-Maui-Planning-Commission-a-bill-for-ordinance-declaring-moratorium-on-new-transient-accommodations

    We will be updating on this proposal.


  • Friday, July 09, 2021 8:30 AM | Jen Russo (Administrator)


    Registration for Short Term Rental Condos

    Coming Up: Registration for Short term rental condos will be under review at the next Planning Commission agenda on July 13 at 9am.

    The Planning Department’s report on the proposal:

    https://www.mauicounty.gov/DocumentCenter/View/127730/071321_Agenda-Item-B2_Resolution-21-55-Apartment-District_memo

    Planning Department recommends using TMK rather than a registration number, and that each unit or property owner must hold a valid general excise and transient accommodation license for the property, with taxes paid in full and kept current, and be classified in the short term rental real property tax rate.


  • Friday, July 02, 2021 9:35 AM | Jen Russo (Administrator)



    What Happened at the PSLU meeting 7/1/21

    In the op-ed by Council member Tamara Paltin, [https://mauinow.com/2021/06/29/short-term-rental-home-caps-scheduled-for-discussion-in-committee/] she is quoted as saying that, ““Reducing the number of short-term rental homes will open up more long-term options for residents.” 

    The concern is the council continues to make difficult decisions based on hyperbole rather than actual facts. There are several factors that will open up more long-term options for residents, but decreasing the number of slots for future short term rental permits is probably not going to have much of an effect. There aren’t a ton of homeowners putting in applications for short term use, but there are a lot of homeowners buying second homes for seasonal use. There are a lot of building permits for seasonal homes. There aren’t a lot of options for affordable housing. 

    It is understandable that people are angry about the state of housing on Maui - however blaming legal vacation rentals is not going to solve the issue.

    In 2020 during COVID there was a perfect storm across the nation - creating a “Pandemic Shift” in home sales. There were low interest rates, little inventory and people wanting to move to Hawaii because they can remote work from home. This high demand for homes in Hawaii brought median house sales rates up to over a million on Maui. None of these home sales were to make a STR. You cannot even apply for a permit until you have owned your property for 5 years. This same “Pandemic Shift” had many people moving to Hawaii and Maui and renting long term, further exacerbating the long term rental problem, as many Maui renters can’t compete with mainland incomes.

    With the 220 or so permits that exist for short term rental homes about 50% of them are owned by Maui residents. These are residents that have chosen to go through the legal process, and many of them also provide long term housing on Maui for other residents. These are not bad people, and should be celebrated for their small business and work in the community and financial contributions to the county and housing. 

    Many of these owners vet their visitors carefully, and educate their guests carefully. There are certain stipulations for some properties that mean they do not qualify to make application for B&B 

    Every single permitted home has a local manager listed on the  property signage and that manager has their contact information on a sign on the property. 

    Maui needs more affordable housing in order to solve our housing crisis. Vacation rentals are already contributing to this solution. Vacation rentals are the biggest source of funding for Maui’s Affordable Housing Fund. 

    Affordable Housing Fund Contributions - 2019-2022

    Vacation Rentals have contributed a total of $18.7 million

    Timeshares have contributed a total of $5.9 million 

    Homeowners have contributed a total of $5.3 million 

    Hotel/Resorts have contributed a total of $4.8 million 

    Vacation rentals represent 37% of the county real property tax revenue generating a staggering $142.4 million this year.

    --

    There were a lot of written testimony regarding this PSLU item 67:

    112 written comments in the ecomment system

    https://mauicounty.granicusideas.com/meetings/1355-planning-and-sustainable-land-use-committee-2021-on-2021-07-01-9-00-am/agenda_items/60d66da74425383eb0000a03-pslu-67-cc-21-67-short-term-rental-home-permit-cap


    A lot of good points were made in oral testimony, but in the end the Planning and Sustainable Land Use committee members had their minds already made up. It seemed like they did not take into account the recommendations of the Planning Commission in their review of this bill, which was to initiate a study rather than arbitrarily choose cap numbers. They did not weight the 4 meetings worth of oral and written testimony that many in the industry made during the planning commission's public hearing (there was about 150 pages of testimony and minutes from those meetings). The proposed bill that went through the planning commission and planning department was represented with the intent to reduce the caps to existing and pending permits, and that is what people were testifying about. But when it came down to it, they reduced caps in some districts to less than the number of existing permits, with the plan to decrease the numbers through attrition. That was not something that was discussed or put in the report.



  • Friday, June 25, 2021 7:56 AM | Jen Russo (Administrator)


    Who pays for Maui’s Affordable Housing?

    This may surprise many, but Maui’s vacation rentals are in fact the largest contributor to Maui’s affordable housing fund. Since 2018, Maui’s vacation rentals have contributed $18.9 million towards affordable housing, more than all the hotels, all the homeowners and all other businesses COMBINED! In the same time period timeshares, hotels, and homeowner properties together have contributed $16 million. Vacation Rentals include legal permitted short term rental homes, condos, and Bed and Breakfast operations. By law at least 3% of real property tax goes toward the affordable housing fund, and this year the county council voted to have 6% of real property tax appropriated to the fund. Maui’s number one supporter of affordable housing by far is vacation rentals. While much has been said about the impact of vacation rentals, without them there would be dramatically less money available for the County budget and specifically for affordable housing.

    This year alone, short-term rentals will supply Maui County with $142.4 million in real property tax revenue. That is more than 1/3 of all the real property tax revenue collected County wide! As such vacation rentals are the largest source of funding for the Affordable Housing Fund raising $8.6 million this year alone, and have been the biggest source of funding for the last 3 years. The second highest contributor is non-owner occupied properties with $5.8 Million, this tax classification includes long term renters.

    Compared to other visitor related accommodations, vacation rentals are the only segment to have increased their tax contributions this year. Timeshares saw a 7% decrease in their assessed value, and will contribute $2.2 million less than last year. Hotel and Resort classification saw a 19% decrease in assessed value this year resulting in a $3.7 million decrease in funding from last year. Meanwhile, vacation rentals will generate $28.6 million more in property tax revenue this year, a staggering 25% increase from last year!

    The council and administration depend on short-term rental properties to fund our county. Likewise, vacation rentals support Maui’s homeowners as well, by subsidizing lower taxes for residents. Right now Maui homeowners generate $33 million in real property taxes. Without the $142.4 million in taxes generated by vacation rentals, homeowners would have to more than quadruple their taxes to keep the same county budget. Plus, Maui’s vacation rentals also generate local jobs, supporting a network of small businesses like accountants, contractors, landscaping, cleaning, restaurants, shops, and interior design professionals, all of whom in turn spend money sustaining the economic circle.

    While vacation rentals are often criticized, and seldom praised, it’s worth considering the value vacation rentals bring to the table as a whole to fully understand the context of the situation.

    Subscribe to our newsletter for more updates like these!

    To see this article in the Maui News go to https://www.mauinews.com/opinion/columns/2021/06/vacation-rentals-contribute-the-most-to-affordable-housing-fund/

  • Friday, June 18, 2021 7:52 AM | Jen Russo (Administrator)


    Visitor Accommodations Moratorium & Condo Registrations going to Planning Commission

    On Friday June 18th the county council approved the transmittal of a proposed resolution entitled "REFERRING TO THE MAUI PLANNING COMMISSION A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING CHAPTERS 19.98 AND 20.41, MAUI COUNTY CODE, DECLARING A MORATORIUM ON NEW TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS ON MAUI." 

    The resolution from council member Keani Rawlins-Fernandez includes the establishment of a Temporary Investigative Group by the Budget, Finance, and Economic Development Committee to look at tourism management. Fernandez said at the meeting and further explained in an Op Ed piece in the Maui News that, “A main focus of this TIG will be a substantial reduction of vacation rentals, including the approximately 11,000 units on the short-term occupancy list and aggressive enforcement of illegal transient accommodations. This is an effort that is supported by the hotel industry and unions alike, and I look forward to working closely with them during the TIG process. Steering tourism back into the hotel and resort areas is of high priority.” 

    (https://www.mauinews.com/opinion/columns/2021/06/transient-accommodations-moratorium-prioritizes-management-of-tourism/)

    We know vacation rentals are a legitimate part of a diversified and healthy transient accommodations industry for Maui. This TIG is of concern, the members of this TIG should also be working with members of the vacation rental industry and not only the hotel unions when looking at tourism management of Maui.  We anticipate this item appearing on the planning commission agenda around September. 

    Another item on the planning commission agenda of July 13th is the creation of a registration system for the legal permitted short term rental condos.  Here is the Planning Department report on the proposed ordinance

    https://www.mauicounty.gov/DocumentCenter/View/126257/Draft-Bill-for-Ordinance-Relating-to-Chapter-1912-Apartment-District-Vacation-Rentals?bidId

    For more updates like these sign up for our newsletter!

  • Monday, June 07, 2021 10:02 AM | Jen Russo (Administrator)


    MVRA in the news

    MVRA was interviewed and contributed to the NPR story “Vacation Rentals Continue To See High Demand, But Regulations Create Uncertain Future” that broke on Tuesday June 1st. We had the opportunity to comment on the benefits that vacation rentals bring to the Maui Community, and some of the issues we have seen this year with regulation on Maui.

    You can read the article or listen to the interview here: https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/local-news/2021-06-01/vacation-rentals-continue-to-see-high-demand-but-regulations-create-uncertain-future

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