Trouble in Paradise: Maui Locals Limit B&B Development

If you’re thinking about slipping away to Maui in early 2008 for a quiet rest in a secluded B&B or vacation rental, think again. County officials plan to enforce regulations — ignored by previous administrations — that will shut down most or all of the island’s short-term rental properties. Enforcement begins January 1, 2008. On the books, the official reason for the initiative is that many B&B and vacation-rental owners are violating county zoning laws. Others think the strict enforcement of the rules is the quickest way to slow the spread of tourism outside resort areas, a source of concern for many locals.

On Friday, September 28, the Maui Vacation Rental Association (MVRA), which represents more than 100 vacation rental owners, fired back by filing an injunction with the U.S. District Court to stop the proposed enforcement. The association’s lawsuit claims that there isn’t enough time for businesses to obtain permits and operate according to law, thus putting short-term vacation rentals out of business. The MVRA estimates a $200,000 loss of business by 500 operators, according to a report in the Maui News.

If you have booked time at a Maui rental property, we urge you to get in touch with the proprietor or your travel agent immediately.

Carolyn Galgano