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County zoning division to undergo review

The Maui News

A resolution passed by the Maui County Council on Tuesday will allow an assessment of the county zoning division following complaints of delays and inconsistencies in processing permits.

“Over the past six months I have received numerous concerns relating to the lack of staff response, inconsistency in processing permits, significant delays in processing permits and absence of customer service,” Council Member Mike Molina said in a news release on Tuesday evening.

The resolution, which was introduced by Molina, authorizes the council chair or county auditor to contract for an assessment of the Department of Planning’s Zoning Administration and Enforcement Division to include:

• Application and permit processing times to expedite review.

• Maintaining and retention of staff levels.

• Assessment of staff morale.

• Evaluation of pending permit applications and backlogs.

• Evaluation of customer service.

• Evaluation of options for expediting the processing of minor permits.

• Assessment of staff knowledge and proficiency for permit review consistency.

In March 2006, the council initiated a review of the Planning Department. However, Molina said if the concerns raised in the 2006 assessment had been addressed, “we wouldn’t still be receiving complaints from the public.”

The resolution will be directed to the council chair and the county auditor for review to determine the next steps relating to funding, the scope of the assessment and whether the council chair or the auditor will take the lead.

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