Sunday, June 21, 2009

Maui County Council Proposes Anti-Mixed Use Zoning Bills

The Maui County Council recently proposed two bills that would remove mixed use zoning from the hotel and industrial districts.

According to Wikipedia, "[t]hroughout most of human history, the majority of human settlements developed as mixed-use environments. [...] This historical mixed-used pattern of development declined during industrialisation in favor of large-scale separation of manufacturing and residences in single-function buildings." The idea of mixed use zoning has come full circle. Today, mixed use planning has made a comeback in the form of smart growth. For example, the American Planning Association has developed various smart growth model zoning codes with the aim of "encourag[ing] a mix of uses, the preservation of open spaces and environmentally sensitive areas, a range of housing types and transportation options, and predictable development review processes."

The Maui bills depart from the current smart growth trend. The first bill eliminates residential and apartment uses in hotel districts. The second bill eliminates business and apartment uses in the industrial district.

The Maui Planning Commission must make a recommendation to Council before Council may act on the proposed bill. Resolution No. 09-21 containing a Draft Bill to Amend Section 19.14.020 of the Maui County Code relating to eliminating the stacking of Residential and Apartment uses in the Hotel District will be heard by the Maui County Planning Commission on June 23, 2009. See agenda.


Hawaii Land Use Law and Policy said...

Harry Eagar of the Maui News provides some great coverage of the staking bills. See "Vote: Leave ‘stacking’ zoning alone," May 27, 2009 at

Manawai said...

I've heard that the impetus for the "first bill" which eliminates residential and apartment uses in hotel districts is largely due to not wanting wealthy property owners building their mega-mansions on resort-zoned land. Is it because these mega-mansions won't pay as much in taxes as a hotel or is it just another case of xenophobic jealousy of the have-nots. If it's the former, why are apartments included when the improvement value of these multi-unit structures are similar to hotels?