A proposal by the Planning Department to move agricultural subdivisions to rural classification has confused and alarmed some residents that their neighborhoods are going to be urbanized.
The Realtors Association of Maui understands the sentiment that is driving this concern and agrees that these communities should retain their current density. We do not agree that changing these properties to rural classification means an increase in density.
How dense a community is allowed to become is a policy that is set by the County Council. Our county is the only one in the state to create Rural 2-acre, 5-acre and 10-acre zoning classifications. Rural 2-acre means that the minimum lot size is 2 acres and cannot be subdivided to lots smaller than 2 acres without the owner first going through a lengthy, costly rezoning.
Maui County created these new zoning classifications so that it could move certain small, nonfarm ag-zoned properties to rural classification without changing their density. Two-acre agriculture would become 2-acre rural without any change to density, taxes or the right to farm.
What would change is that these properties would fall under the legislative authority of the Maui County Council and would no longer be subject to rules set by the state Legislature.
RAM believes that land uses such as these should fall under our local government because the county best understands the nature of our rural communities and the needs of the people who live there.
Government affairs director Realtors Association of Maui