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New hotel moratorium bumpy road to march

Maui tourism planning is considering a moratorium on new hotel room building permits until community plans have been completed.

While new ideas on tourism management such as “taxe de sejour” like they have in France, or “culture tax” like they have in Germany or Bhutan, merit thought, the action of not issuing a ministerial permit such as a building permit to a landowner whose zoning allows such building approaches government overreach.

Such moratoriums may carefully be considered in circumstances where a discretionary permit approved through a hearing or by director decision is required such as in a community plan amendment or special management area approval. But withholding issuance of a building permit is a bumpy road to march down. The consequences should be thoroughly considered, not just for hotel development, but for all landowners.

Kurt Wollenhaupt

Wailuku

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