After residents alleged that a monster vacation rental is disguised as a single-family home to circumvent licensing rules and public scrutiny, Maui County Council and Planning Department officials on Tuesday pledged to do research. “all options” for what can be done with the Napili property.
“I hope you postpone this case because we have to explore all options and one is sentencing,” Board chair Alice Lee said at the government relations, ethics and transparency committee meeting on Tuesday. “This property is probably a nice place for affordable housing.”
Meanwhile, the homeowner said in a letter to the committee that he would be prepared to reduce the height of the house if he “soften” the community’s position on vacation rentals.
Owned by Greg Brown, a 45-foot-tall Napili home with eight bedrooms, an elevator, rooftop pool and spa, two dens, two media rooms, and two parking areas each with four spaces, is currently under construction. on his property at the corner of Lower Honoapiilani Road and Hui Drive.
For months, community members raised flags over the height and potential use of the house, and public witnesses on Tuesday called the house a “monstrosity.”
However, Brown, through his attorney, Jeffrey Ueoka, says the structure complies with all state laws and county ordinances, and that the Special Management Area permit exemption in 2019 and the building permit in 2020 have been carefully reviewed and properly approved by the county planning department, according to the June 25 letter to the committee.
The property falls under the zoning of the Napili Bay Civic Improvement District, which limits buildings to two storeys in height.
Due to an outdated county code that does not specify the number of feet in a story, planning director Michele McLean said the department may not have a basis for requiring a lower height. The roof of the house is about 35 feet high, and the two stairwells and the elevator shaft reach about 45 feet, she said.
One way to remedy future problems is to change the county code to change “two stories” at “30 feet”, McLean said. She added that the zoning change for the Napili Bay Civic Improvement District is scheduled for July 13 at the Maui Planning Commission.
Brown in the letter said he would be prepared to reduce the height of the home if the community is more receptive to its use as a vacation rental, which is permitted under district and common zoning in the area. Brown said he still intended to use the accommodation as a vacation rental when it was not in use by the family.
“Greg is ready to redesign the house, minimizing protrusions above 35 feet, transparent type railings, elevator shaft and minimal utility / support structures on the roof, provided obtain assurance that the house will be authorized for use as a vacation rental as permitted by current zoning, said the letter.
“Our hope is that Greg’s willingness to reduce the height of the house to address community concerns will soften the community’s position on the vacation rental issue,” the letter added.
McLean, however, said during the meeting that the plaintiff received an exemption from the SMA on the assumption that the unit would be used as a single-family dwelling – not a vacation rental.
“In the first paragraph, their idea was that the house would be used as a vacation rental, which directly conflicts with what they told our staff when we were dealing with the SMA assessment,” McLean said in responding to a question from committee chair Mike Molina whether any part of Brown’s letter was of concern. “Our staff specifically asked this question and was answered ‘no’. “
She said the department is considering the use of the vacation rental “not be allowed in this structure.”
McLean said the next steps are to review the SMA’s exemption criteria, which include consideration of impacts, and to verify whether the building permit complies with the zoning height limit of “two stories.” In addition, staff will verify the square footage and verify the finished height / level to determine if the plans were correct and if the construction follows the plans. The department is examining whether a makai retaining wall is permitted, she added.
The council, which is considering two bills that would suspend building permits for temporary housing to reduce overcrowding and mitigate the effects of tourism, discussed Napili property as part of the agenda of the committee Tuesday. No action was taken and the article was postponed so that the topic could be revisited.
The property is on the market for $ 12.85 million. It was purchased in 2017 by the current owner for $ 1.2 million, according to McLean. The Property Assessment Division has a property value of $ 1.275 million.
“What everyone is trying to figure out is: the damage has been done to the community. How can we rectify this situation legally? “ Vice-president of the board Keani Rawlins-Fernandez said at the meeting.
* Kehaulani Cerizo can be contacted at [email protected]