Ask The Mayor

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

Q: With the affordable housing shortage and all of these 2-acre parcels only allowed to have one main house and an ohana, can we consider allowing another ohana on each property, where at least one of the two is required for long-term rental? I realize septic systems would need to be updated, and perhaps if properties are tied to municipal waste collection, they could not qualify if adding another house overstressed the system.

A: Mahalo for your thoughtful question. With the passage of the “ohana bill” that increased the size and number of permitted ohanas in only the residential and rural zoning districts, people have often asked us if the same will be proposed for agricultural districts. This, however, involves different policies and principles than just the ohana bill. There may be support to increase the size of the second farm dwelling or to allow for additional dwellings for true farm labor. But it’s an entirely different question to allow more dwellings for the sake of addressing the housing shortage by further converting agricultural areas to “ag” in name but residential in function.

We should remember that any changes would require an amendment to the county agricultural zoning district, and such change would have to be consistent with the state agricultural district. The amendment would have to be reviewed by the three planning commissions and then be adopted by the Maui County Council. As you can see, this can be a complex process and one that we would need to get input from the general public as well as the agricultural community to see if there is any consensus before making any proposed changes. I can tell you, though, that we are making strides toward boosting affordable housing as well as supporting diversified agricultural throughout Maui County.

Q: Since the building of the skate park in Pukalani (thank you for that), there is a shortage of parking in the Upcountry pool and park. It seems like it would make good sense to move the cemented tires that protect the parallel parking practice area for the Division of Motor Vehicle and Licensing up to the corner of the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center near the stop signal. This would open up four prime spaces for mothers with children at the skate park, seniors who want to walk their dogs, and anyone else using the nearby facilities. Increasing the primo parking spots by four and moving those tires and practice area to the top would make a great deal of sense and cost very little. The DMVL protected area is used only occasionally. Relocating it to the upper Tavares lot would be almost an equal distance to the DMVL and help out an awful lot of Maui residents.

A: I am pleased to tell you that we are working with our Department of Parks and Recreation and Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division to relocate the parallel parking tires in order to open up those parking spaces. Ironically enough, the parking tires were originally located in the upper parking lot and the division was asked to move them. Our parks department has reviewed the idea with district staff and will be working with the division on the new relocation.

* 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.