Ask the Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: Will the new Central Maui Regional Sports Complex have a jungle gym for little kids to play on, similar to the one located at Keopuolani Park? Thank you.

A: No, at this time plans do not call for a playground there. When the park was originally designed, it was to address the shortage in inventory of active practice and playing fields, so the emphasis has been on completing the project. The park will contain four softball fields, four Little League fields, three soccer fields, comfort stations, concession buildings, open space and parking for approximately 700 vehicles. After the park is completed and in full operation, we will review what amenities we could add to enhance the park experience.

Q: How many ohana units are allowed on half-acre of land in Maui County? I have read where the answer is one unit and I’ve also seen two units. Can you tell me which is correct? Or, under what circumstances each might be permitable?

A: You will find the provisions for ohanas (called “accessory dwellings” in our code) in Chapter 19.35 of the Maui County Code, In regard to your half-acre lot, if it is zoned residential, then it can have one ohana of no more than 500 square feet, in addition to the main house. Also, no more than one accessory dwelling shall be permitted on a single lot regardless of the size of the lot. There are bills pending before the County Council’s Land Use Committee that would allow ohanas on smaller lots and that would allow two ohanas on larger lots. The Planning Department is also working on a bill to increase the size of the ohanas, which we hope to forward to the council later this year.

Q: Is it legal to use a (gas) leaf blower to blow landscape clippings and leaves on the highway or public roads? I have witnessed a lot of private landscape companies doing just that. What can be done on this issue?

A: No, it’s not legal. Hawaii Revised Statute 352H-36.5 states that it is unlawful “for any person to use or operate a leaf blower in such a way as to blow leaves, dirt, and other debris onto the public rights-of-way or onto private property not owned, leased or controlled by the leaf blower operator or the employer or contractor . . . and to allow the debris to remain there in excess of thirty minutes. “It is also a bad idea because the leaves, debris and yard waste are considered stormwater pollutants. These materials could clog storm drains, which would in turn cause flooding hazards during heavy rains or create breeding grounds for insects, rodents or other vectors. You can report this kind of violation on a county roadway by calling the county Public Works Highways Division at (808) 270-7869, or if the leaves are blown onto a state highway, call the state Department of Transportation Highways Division at (808) 873-3535. For more information on stormwater protection and erosion, including a residents guide and a keiki activity book, visit

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email