Ask The Mayor

Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: The houses across the street from us are very likely using the premises as an illegal short-term vacation rental. They let out like they are letting friends stay there, but I don’t really believe it. No one has that many friends good enough to turn over their home to for free. How are we supposed to handle a situation like this?

A: Cracking down on illegal short-term rentals and building more long-term, affordable housing continue to be among my top priorities. Maui County’s Zoning and Enforcement Division monitors all permitted and illegal vacation rentals. Residents can do their part by submitting a Request for Service, if they suspect an illegal rental. The RFS process serves as the county’s one-stop information and assistance program that can help answer county-related questions and help address issues with county services. To report illegal rentals, visit www.mauicounty.gov/1776/Request-for-Service or call the Zoning and Enforcement Division at 270-7523.

Q: Is there a planning goal for county roadways to include sidewalks (and possibly bike lanes) for all new roadway projects and when refurbishing existing urban streets? Here in Kihei, there are a number of streets with no sidewalks so people have to walk on the street and/or near cars whizzing by as people monkey with their cellphones. Many Maui communities have streets that loop through their community that could be turned into one-way streets with sidewalks and bike paths.

A: My staff contacted acting Department of Public Works Director David Goode about your comments, and I’m very pleased to note that he has implemented a Complete Streets Policy, which addresses these concerns. The policy directs all staff to design and operate the entire road right of way to enable safe access for all users. The policy requires that all new construction and reconstruction/retrofit projects consider the needs of all modes of transportation and all users of the road network.

Goode also has directed staff to find opportunities to include bike lanes and pedestrian paths in the project plans, when feasible. This policy includes all maintenance projects and ongoing operations such as resurfacing, repaving, restriping and rehabilitation. Additionally, the department’s capital improvement program budget includes a line item for countywide sidewalk improvements. Public Works staff takes input from the community, makes priorities for new sidewalk requests and forwards these requests annually to the Maui County Council.

Sidewalk priorities generally focus on highly frequented areas or where children typically walk, such as schools and parks, transit stops, key business destinations, and in areas where sidewalk network gaps exist. The number of sidewalks constructed each year is dependent upon funding availability. To answer your question regarding the conversion of two-way streets into one-way streets, that would require a measure brought before the Maui County Public Works Commission for review and recommendation, along with an approval from the County Council.

Q: Do police enforce and issue citations to drivers with illegally tinted windows? What about vehicles with tires extending far outside of their fender?

A: My communications staff contacted the Maui Police Department to look into your question and were told that the department’s Traffic Section conducts operations specifically targeting dark tints and tires extending outside the fenders. In 2018, the section issued citations for over 100 window tint violations and 400 oversized tire violations. Many offenders were repeat offenders, who did not make the effort to bring their vehicles within legal specifications. Fines issued to the vehicle’s owner can be up to $500 for each illegally tinted window. Fines issued to the installer of the tints are up to $1,000 for each illegally tinted window. Vehicle owners with tires extending outside the fender are open to a fine of $72 and can be issued a citation for each tire.

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County-related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at askthemayor@mauicounty.gov, 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 mayors.office@mauicounty.gov.