STVR is been a reality in this world and a great way for travelers to have as an option instead staying in hotels and time shares. I do agree the tourism sometimes looks like out of control but I strongly believe that phasing out STVR is NOT going to help the problem at all and probably just make it worse with hotels and resorts being built on top of our beautiful land destroying our native environment.
I oppose this piece of legislation. It will NOT cure the housing deficit we have. It will only create lawsuits from the owners and cost the county millions in legal fees PLUS reduced property tax revenues. Please vote NO on this bill. It will NOT reduce tourists, instead it WILL HARM current property owners.
Unfortunately, I cannot support you in the next election if you do not support property rights.
Please do the right thing and Oppose the TVR Phase Out Bill and focus on legislation that will actually help our community. The proposed TVR phase out legislation will not create affordable housing and it won't benefit anyone other than the hotel industry. RAM has identified several reasons why the County of Maui should not eliminate TVR use in these subject condominiums, and I agree with them. I hope you agree with this logic as well:
1. Economic Benefit: The County of Maui has identified approximately 7,302 condominium units that have the ability to conduct TVR use under the comprehensive zoning ordinance's permitted uses for the A-1 and A-2 districts. Based on recent changes to our real property tax laws, these properties are generally placed in the short-term rental tax classification by default. On 10/21/2021, the Director of the Department of Finance publicly stated that eliminating TVR use in these properties "would possibly lead to a negative revenue change at about $23 million per year." According to data provided by the Selected Real Property Statistics for Budget Consideration: FY 2021-2022, the average amount of revenue expected to be provided by each property in the STR tax class in 2022 is $10,241.00. Therefore, these 7,302 condominiums represent approximately $74.7 million in annual RPT revenue overall. According to Moody's, "the county's reliance on generally stable and predictable property taxes that are paid primarily by out-of-state owners of timeshares, vacation rentals and second homes'' is a significant factor related to our excellent bond rating. It makes no financial sense to eliminate such a reliable and substantial source of revenue for the county, especially at the risk of jeopardizing our bond rating.
2. Funding the Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan: The Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan calls for the County of Maui to "increase funding into the Affordable Housing Fund to $58 million annually." Similarly, the plan calls for the County of Maui to use its excellent bond rating to borrow against the Affordable Housing Fund in order to fund other components of the plan. As discussed above, eliminating TVR use from these subject condominiums would result in a possible loss of $23 million in revenue annually, and upwards of $74 million in annual revenue lost overall. Such a loss in revenue and reduction in our tax base would make it impossible to fully fund the Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan, and it would jeopardize our ability to borrow enough money to fund various components of the plan. Please, do not defund the Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan before any housing is even made available. These impacted condominiums will not provide the housing our community needs, but they can fund the development of the housing our community needs. Hawaiian Community Assets agrees with this point, and so should you.
3. Eliminating TVR Use May Actually Jeopardize Long-Term Affordable Housing Opportunities for Residents: TVR use in the subject condominiums is an incentive for investment purchasers to seek out and purchase these aging condominiums instead of other residential properties on the island. If there is no difference between the permitted uses allowed in an aging 1 bedroom condominium in Kihei or a 3 bedroom home in Waihee or Makawao, but the prices are comparable, an investment purchaser might as well buy the 3 bedroom home that would have been more suitable for one of our residents. Also, even if these properties lose TVR use, they are generally not the type of housing our residents need, and they will likely not sell at rates many of our residents can afford. The subject properties are all 30+ years old, primarily built and designed as TVRs, largely located in the sea level rise exposure area, and have aged infrastructure that has been used hard for many years. That means they have minimal parking, minimal storage, high maintenance fees, high special assessments, high tax assessments, and are in the areas most susceptible to climate change. Given the current prices of comparable non-TVR units and the average monthly maintenance fees of these units, few (if any) can be expected to sell at "affordable" or even "workforce" rates.
4. Empowering the Hotels and Maximizing Advertising Dollars: Eliminating TVR use in the subject condominiums only benefits the hotel industry, as it will be eliminating their only real competition while negatively impacting county revenue and affordable housing development. With no competition, the hotels will maximize their capacity and realize huge gains in revenue. Naturally, much of this revenue will go back into advertising Maui as a destination, thereby increasing the numbers of tourists visiting the islands. Throughout the pandemic period, the County of Maui already demonstrated great preference for the hotels and resorts, and this further gift of eliminating their competition almost entirely is alarming and arguably inappropriate.
5. Legal Challenges: Many property owners have already contacted RAM and expressed their intent to take legal action against the County of Maui if their property rights are abridged. Though HRS Section 46-4 ostensibly provides the counties authority to phase out "nonconforming" usese in the Apartment zoning districts, it is difficult to classify TVR use as "nonconforming" for these subject properties. TVR use is expressly permitted in the language of the comprehensive zoning ordinance, and has been stated as expressly permitted in several pieces of legislation over the past 7 years. TVR use has been conducted in the A-1 and A-2 districts by thousands of property owners, throughout hundreds of buildings, over the course of decades. I don't know if impacted property owners would win a legal challenge against the County of Maui, but I have a feeling it will cost our county a lot of money and time to find out.
Hopefully you can see that a TVR phase out is not a good idea and it won't help our community in the way this legislation claims it will. Please focus your attention on providing the housing we need, instead of looking for ways to punish property owners for doing what the County of Maui expressly allows them to do.
I support PSLU-34 CC 21-422 PHASING OUT TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE APARTMENT DISTRICTS. Limiting the number of apartments that can be turned into short term rentals will give not only a little breathing room for people who work on Maui to find housing on island, but also a bit of a cap on the tourists who come to visit. This would make things more comfortable for everybody - not only for those who live, but also those who visit Maui. The more comfortable things are, the more money will be made, even if it doesn’t sound like that when viewing things with a short term perspective.
Please consider life on Maui long term when voting on this bill, and support it.
Mahalo for your time and care!
Amy Fonarow (former six-year Maui resident and tourism-industry worker)
I wish to voice opposition to the proposed resolution PSLU-34. When I first visited Maui I could not afford to stay in a luxury hotel; condominium rental was not only affordable but offered my wife and myself an opportunity to experience Maui from a different perspective than if staying at a hotel. We shopped for groceries at the local markets and asked residents for suggestions of restaurants where the “locals” ate. We loved the aloha spirit that was prevalent throughout the islands.
Eventually we purchased a condominium in Kihei and made it available for short term vacation rentals thus giving renters the opportunity to experience Maui as we had done years earlier. To maintain our condo we hire local tradesmen such as plumbers, electricians and handymen (and women). We have a local person do cleaning. When on island we purchase products locally; we contribute to the economy in many ways.
The experience of staying in a privately owned condominium for a week or two provides a wonderful cultural and learning experience for those who cannot afford the hotels. I realize that Maui has a housing problem, but limiting and eventually eliminating short term vacation rentals in condominiums is essentially isolating Maui from the rest of the world except for wealthy individuals who can afford the very high hotel rates.
Aloha, please bring our neighborhoods and housing back to our full time residents. The apartments and condos that were built 30-40 yrs ago were for families. What happened? and who opened the floodgates that forced so many to move away? It’s time to bring back our quality of life by eliminating STVR’s in our neighborhoods and condos and revisit the huge task of making them affordable for the workforce who are struggling to find a place to live. 2020 was devastating to our economy, and we also learned how beautiful our island was with less people. Tourism is our economy, let’s figure out a way to embrace it by focusing back on the well being of our residents that make this island a beautiful place to visit. We are the priority, and I thank the council for bringing this matter to the forefront. Please please make the change, this is the first step towards a better future for the residents and our Maui. Money, investments, taxes, etc need to take the back seat in this matter. Mahalo nui for your consideration.
Oppose - This does not solve the problem of long term housing for Maui Residents.
I think we need more “hoops” for short term rentals and some area should not have them. I clean vacation rentals for a living and have for 12yrs on Maui. I cannot stand that my friends and family cannot find a home with their kids, but people from the mainland can come buy any home or condo and illegally rent them all of the time. It’s not ok. And like I said, this is how I pay my bills. Yet I am seriously angry and frustrated at the lack of support for us locals who have kids or a dog and we can’t rent anything affordable. Our humane society is over full because we don’t have many landlords with any aloha. It’s just $ to them. Pay my mortgage in HI and my mainland mortgage but it’s a screw you to OUR community. We need more aloha! Ever since maui reopened it’s been horrible, the worst owners and guests I have ever had! It makes me so sad. And even worse, so many of my friends/family have had to move (many born and raised here) because of the short term rentals. I honestly think owners who aren’t residents should get taxed even more if they do short term rentals, and they should get tax breaks for renting to real locals with families actually working in our community. Maui no ka oi
As a 40 year resident of Maui, I have personally been displaced by long-term rental units being turned into vacation rentals. I once was able to live on the west side and walk to work. Now I live in haiku and drive three hours total each day to get to the Westside to work. I personally know people who are not full Time residence that on three vacation rentals on the west side and one on Molokai. Enough is enough. As a former vacation rental manager, I was asked and rewarded for more more more reservations.
Before you know it there will not be any more residents on Maui to fill any of the positions needed to accommodate the visitor. We have to drive too far and pay way too much for rent just to survive.
I support this bill. It is a positive step but it doesn't go far enough. There are over 7,000 units zoned as apartments and meant to be homes, that are kept out of the rental market because of some misguided policy decision decades ago by people who somehow didn't view apartments as housing. Maybe they envisioned a future where apartments didn't matter because houses would be plentiful and accessible like some kind of suburban sprawl picket fence utopia (distopia), but that future didn't come to pass. We have a present where housing is not just expensive, but unavailable, forcing many residents, locals, and Hawaiians to leave the islands. I am not a lawyer but surely there must be some legal means to undo the catastrophic Minatoya Opinion and de-hotelize housing.
I have read several of the existing opposing testimonies and I do not believe any of the popular arguments make sense. Many seem to assume that this would ban existing legal STRH. I personally think they should be banned, but they won't be with this bill, only future owners will be disallowed from using apartments as hotels. Yes, a small amount of revenue would be lost as people sell and new owners lose STRH rights, but it would be inconsequential. Even if the amounts were large, they could easily be made up by increasing taxes on the rest of the visitor industry which is massively profitable. A hotel room is $600-$1000 a night, they can pay more taxes.
Yes there are cleaning jobs at vacation rentals, but it would be better if they were unionized stable jobs at resorts. I don't see how trades would be affected negatively as residents need services just like absentee hoteliers. Furthermore, these cleaning workers and tradespeople need homes too. We all have friends and acquaintances and neighbors who have been forced to leave Maui County to find affordable housing. I live at Kihei Shores, one of only two complexes in the Kama'ole area without STRH, and several of my neighbors have left over the past year due to rising rents and lack of available housing. Meanwhile there are 1,116 STRH units in adjacent complexes, all zoned apartment and meant to be housing.
Several comments say that these condos aren't appropriate for affordable housing. I disagree, because the exact types of buildings are affordable housing on O'ahu and everywhere else on the planet. There is no "Minatoya" in the City and County of Honolulu, and as a result you can actually rent a condo there for a reasonable amount of money. STRH condo fees are exhorbitant on Maui because the sky is the limit when the owners are running massively profitable businesses as amateur hoteliers. A $1,000 fee is just a way for someone to earn a nice income, and those fees would normalize if condo units were restored to residential usage. That's how pretty much every city is, apartments exist and condos exist, and people live in them. We may be unique in this strange belief that condos should be something other than homes.
The worst comments are the ones using the phrase "bite the hand that feeds you". The County is not a dog being fed by benevolent amateur hoteliers, it's a government with an obligation to serve the people. It doesn't exist to beg for scraps from private business interests, especially not those with a negative impact on the community. This line of argument is insulting and disrespectful.
There is some merit to the argument that revenue should be used to build affordable housing. There will be plenty of revenue because the phase out will take several generations to make a difference in housing supply, so yes we should use the revenue to build affordable housing. I hope the same testifiers will support government housing and especially higher density housing that we need in order to avoid paving over too much agricultural land.
I strongly strongly STRONGLY OPPOSE!!!!!
PSLU-34 CC 21-422 PHASING OUT TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE APARTMENT DISTRICTS (PSLU-34)
Aloha Planning and Sustainable Land Use Commission,
If there's one thing the tsunami of visitors that has arrived in 2021 has shown us is that there is such a thing as too much: too many people, too many cars, not enough residents to care for all of the visitors and fill all of the job openings necessary to keep the tourist machine running.
Median prices on homes has skyrocketed due to mainland real estate speculators being able to work remotely pricing local families and residents out of ever being able to own a home. Rents have skyrocketed in step with the cost of home purchase. Properties that were always workforce housing are being purchased and converted to vacation rentals. On West Maui to name a few, Napili Ridge and Kahana Manor always were workforce housing, a starter place for young people that fill so many jobs in tourism. My first place out of my parents house when I was 22 was the Kahana Manor. Recently a real estate speculator purchased 30+ apartments at Kahana Manor, so many friends losing their long time homes, and turned into vacation rentals. A home in Mahinahina that had 5 separate unit recently was given a STR permit taking away housing for 15 more people. Our housing is not a commodity to be sold to greedy real estate speculators that don't live here and don't give back to our community. Enough is enough! Vacation rentals should not be allowed in workforce housing. Our community needs places for young people and working families to live and live in dignity, not 5 people in a studio because that's all they can afford. Our elected officials need to represent the people of Maui not mainland investors that only seek to exploit a system that doesn't work for our residents. Please NO MORE VACATION RENTALS IN APARTMENT DISTRICTS. Please Council members, do what's right for our community and protect what housing we still have left for our community.
Please support a moratorium on new hotels. There are plenty of vacation rentals lining the west and south shores of this island, some in desperate need of repair and coastal retreat. As stated above we cannot even house enough workers to fully staff the hotels we already have.
Please do the right thing. Protect workforce housing by denying and revoking STR permits in apartment districts and please no more hotels!
Mahalo for your time,
To Whom it May concern,,
As West Maui’s largest independent vacation rental employer, we are writing this correspondence to express opposition to PSLU-34. To be clear, the livelihood of Maui Resort Rentals and its 50+ employees is not at stake, as this bill directly affects fewer than 1% of our managed properties. However, our opposition comes from a much broader perspective.
The goal as stated in “Exhibit 1” of the proposed bill is “...to create long-term affordable housing opportunities for residents…” However, the passage of this bill would effectively eviscerate the financial infrastructure needed to build this type of housing. Beyond the significant economic impact on the working demographic that serves this market, another unintended consequence would be to bite the hand that financially feeds it—the population of absentee owners.
Vacation rental income is unquestionably an integral part of the value proposition inherent in this Maui real estate market. To remove this financial benefit would shatter a significant portion of Maui’s tax influx by depressing both transient accommodation and property tax. Furthermore, this is a confrontational message that could serve to alienate some of Maui’s largest fans and financial contributors—investors/absentee real estate owners. This would no doubt be a step in the opposite direction than that of the aloha spirit. The cost of alienating this demographic is beyond calculation. In addition, one has to consider the strong possibility of significant legal exposure for the county, requiring considerable resources of both time and money to contend with.
It is unequivocal that there is a need for more affordable housing options in the local community. But this simply does not seem to fit the bill from the standpoint of the product either. As residents, we require parking, storage and space. The aging buildings affected by this proposed bill are not ideal for affordable or workforce housing. Many are 30+ years old and next to the water with aging infrastructure, making them susceptible to special assessments and SMA permitting. This will inevitably and unintentionally further burden our working community with compromised situations.
The decision here will either create a sizable deficit, or if allocated correctly, a great opportunity. By allowing these 7000+ units to operate, we will continue to create recurring sustainable revenue for Maui County. Over the course of a few years, it would appear these units will generate revenue for the county in excess of $100 Million Dollars. That funding could be allocated to help construct purpose-built affordable housing projects. If creating long-term affordable housing opportunities for residents is truly the goal here; funding will need to come from somewhere. That “somewhere” is either from our tourists or our residents.
For all the reasons above, we strongly oppose phasing out transient accommodations in the apartment districts of Maui County.
Maui Resort Rentals
I strongly oppose.
These condos are a large source of tax, and are owned by hard working people who often hope to retire here and invest their good money into our local economy. They more than contribute for their share of infrastructure and is all existing.
It’s the big new projects like the one in north Kihei I would question
Aloha County Council, I am in support of phasing out transient short term rentals in our neighbor hoods. We already lost our nicest beaches to the hotels, and now they are invading our neighbor hoods! It’s time to stop and review what has happened to our paradise. So many homeless people in Maui today, and many more are only a paycheck away from being homeless. It’s time to re-focus on reality, and realize that taking care of our residents is our priority and obligation. We have to exhibit to the rest of the nation and world what the true meaning of Aloha is, “Sharing, caring, loving, and giving”. Most of these short term rental owners are not even Hawaii people, the profits generated from these units doesn’t even stay in Hawaii. I’m, not against tourism, but i say keep them in the Hotels, as that is what the Hotels were built for, and the Hotels provide better and more jobs than the short term rentals will ever provide. We also need all these units to provide housing for our residents. Let’s also focus more on self sustainability, we have so much land that could be growing our own food. Let’s also bring Hawaii back to being Hawaii by focusing more on Hawaiianess. Yes, we need tourism, but we also need a good quality of life. “Happy Hawaiians means Happy Tourists” Mahalo.
To the members of the Maui County Council,
I strongly oppose. This is not the answer to affordable housing.
As a owner/ manager of 02 transit accommodations condos on Molokai and a Molokai native I strongly support in phasing out condo, residential and condo/ resort zoned transit accommodations properties,
I have witnessed the corruption, rape and unethical ways of American society/ capitalism in Hawaii, we need to wipe the slate clean reassess the potential of allowing transit accommodations in the future to set a better living structure for the land and kanaka that legally have ownership in Hawaii and legal say, not just having of a fee simple ( commodity) and adverse ownership title ( squatters rights ) that is not a land deed. Do your research.
Absolutely oppose, it is bad enough you nearly double our property tax this year (which was discriminatory) and now add another 3% TA tax which is in effect double indemnity on us, now you want to reverse and take away a law that has been in place for more than 40 years! This would constitute the taking of property by eliminating the rightful use of a property owner and will forever reduce their value. It is just another example of how discriminatory Maui is to absentee owners and how you rip them off. It will most certainly cause a huge class action lawsuit and possible criminal actions against those trying to do such an unethical and dishonest act.
I highly support phasing out visitor accommodations. We already have more room nights than our roads and infrastructure can handle. Thank you Council Members for bringing this to a vote. I have noticed that every opposing comment is from someone who is either making money from vacation rentals, or who clearly does not understand the bill, or both. I hope the council is able to take that fact into consideration. The people who live here and work in the community, are supportive of this bill. Having lived here for 27 years, mostly on the west side, it has become a desperate situation. 72% of all residences on this side are owned by non-residents. Myself and many of my friends and family are one notice away from being homeless-even though we work hard, make good money, and pay our rent. My own mother has now been living in her van for over a year. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the needs of the community.
I think this is a very bad idea, the county depends on all the taxes collected on STR and this is not a solution for affordable housing. The county needs to do better for all locals and those that depend on the tourism dollars. I urge you to do better with the resources and knowledgeable staff that you have.
Please find attached Hawaii Hotel Alliance testimony on PSLU 34. Please let me know if any councilmembers need additional information.