The Maui County Cultural Resources Commission wants business signs in Lahaina's Historic Districts to reflect the history and dignity of these world-renowned areas.
Last week, the commission announced it will hold public meetings to discuss revisions to the design guidelines for signs in the Lahaina Historic Districts.
Property and business owners are encouraged to participate in the process to fully understand the new guidelines when they are adopted.
It's important for Lahaina merchants to grasp the new requirements, because once they are in place, the county Planning Department will begin enforcement of unpermitted and illegal signs.
The first meeting will be held on Thursday, July 3, at 10:30 a.m. in the Planning Department Conference Room in the Kalana Pakui building at 250 South High St. in Wailuku.
The CRC will discuss revisions to the guidelines, so they will be more clear and consistent, allow a broader choice of materials and design elements, and can be more easily enforced.
Commercial signs in the Lahaina Historic Districts require permits issued by the Department of Planning; exceptions can be granted by the CRC.
Planning Director Will Spence said, "We are working to balance competing interests - the need for businesses to advertise and promote themselves and the need to preserve the historic integrity of the Lahaina Historic Districts. Updating the design guidelines is long overdue, and the CRC is doing a really solid job."
To view the proposed guidelines, visit www.mauicounty.gov/Planning, then select "Draft Lahaina Sign Design Guidelines" under the "Hot Topics" header.
The county Department of Planning, which staffs the CRC, has taken steps over the years to educate property and business owners about the guidelines and permit process before taking any enforcement action for unpermitted or illegal signs.
Certain illegal signs that are specifically prohibited, such as lighted and portable signs, will continue to be cited.
For information on the meetings, call 270-7735.