Who wants to stay in an Airstream trailer on a Maui Tea Farm? If you shot your hand into the air and yelled, “I do! I do!” – you’re out of luck, for now at least, according to the latest information I received from the Planning Department of the Maui County. I recently made an inquiry with Gina Flammer (who was super helpful by the way) about the possibility of applying for a Short Term Rental Home Permit for my groovy Airstream trailer.
My groovy Airstream trailer
Gina is the point person to handle B&B permit applications and Short Term Rental Home applications – nicknamed STRH permits. Gina explained that because an Airstream trailer is not a permitted dwelling, it is not eligible for either the B&B permit, nor the STRH permit. (Stay tuned for another blog post about the new streamlined application process for these permits.)
Why Would You Want to Have an Airstream Trailer on Maui?
So, why on earth would you want an Airstream trailer on Maui? There certainly are no RV parks, and you sure as hell would not want to drive a 28-foot, 7,000-pound trailer around the crazy curves of the Hana Highway. The answer, at least for me, is more about architecture and can be best answered by showing you a photograph:
Pretty awesome, right?
The design of the Airstream trailer as a pure study in architecture is a winner for Hawaiian living. The trailer pictured above has all the modern conveniences of home – even some that I wouldn’t even need where I live, such as air conditioning and a furnace. (The furnace has never been turned on, so I don’t even know if it works.) It has a fully functional bathroom, shower, propane/electric fridge, sectional couch, efficient kitchenette, flatscreen TV, and the always essential dinette.
Is it Legal to Live in a Trailer on Maui?
This is one of those questions that no one in a position of authority seems comfortable answering (myself included). It’s certainly not illegal to own an Airstream trailer – mine is licensed and insured by Kit Okazaki of State Farm Insurance. Kit did say that for insurance purposes, “You just can’t be living in it.” – or something like that.
The Man Cave
Other Permitting Options
Another permitting option I have not thoroughly investigated is to apply for a Conditional Use Permit for a “Specialty Campground Agricultural Staycation Experience” type of business model. Conditional Use Permits were the way that abiding citizens used to legitimize their B&B operations before the current B&B Permits and STRH Permits came into being.
So for now, my Airstream, whose name is “Lady Mary,” will remain my not-so-mobile office, tea processing kitchen, movie watching station, romantic faux camping hideaway, and buddhist meditation temple.
Here are some links to information on applying for a STHR or a B&B Permit on Maui:
Liam S. Ball, R(S)