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Mayor sends council proposed bills to streamline planning permits

By Staff | Nov 4, 2010

“These bills would provide a more efficient process for certain approvals than the current requirements for many projects in Maui County,” Mayor Charmaine Tavares said.

WAILUKU — Mayor Charmaine Tavares last week transmitted to the County Council a legislative package designed to streamline the Planning Department’s permitting process.

The proposed bills remove bureaucracy by simplifying the approval process for certain projects.

The existing processes for planned development, offsite parking and project district permits require more complex approvals, with conditional permits requiring approval by the full County Council.

“This package is a result of discussions my administration has had with developers, professional planners and design professionals,” Tavares said.

“Recommendations from these professionals will help us improve our permitting processes. By working together to help each other, our community wins.”

The Planning Permitting Streamlining Package includes:

1) A measure that allows the planning director to review the step three unified site and building program.

2) A bill that allows the planning director to approve off-street parking located on a separate lot further than 400 feet from the lot the parking serves, and establishes off-street parking requirements for the SBR (service business residential) district.

3) A proposal to let the planning director approve minor amendments and time extensions to conditional permits.

4) A measure to allow the planning director to review and approve minor revisions to approved Phase II preliminary site plans and Phase III final site plans.

In addition to the bills transmitted last week, a bill proposed by the Tavares administration and submitted to the County Council in September would amend the County Code to clarify permitting for home-based businesses.

Currently before the council, the bill would comprehensively amend the Maui County Code 19.08 relating to residential districts.

The proposed amendments call for the streamlining of the permitting process for home-based businesses, an update of the residential zoning development standards, and a measure that will allow residents to install small alternative energy systems (solar and wind, for example).

This proposed bill defines the terminology and standards for a “home-based business” and establishes a streamlined permitting process that would allow applications to receive a special use permit from the appropriate planning commission, rather than a lengthier conditional permit that must be reviewed by the respective planning commission and issued by the County Council. The special use permit review process would take into consideration potential neighborhood impacts of the home-based business, such as noise, traffic and increased density

The measure also provides a simplified format for the residential zoning code to make it more reader-friendly, and allows small-scale energy systems in residential districts as an accessory use to encourage residents to reduce their use of fossil fuel-produced electricity.