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New Maui County Accessory Dwelling Ordinance

Lately, I have been receiving a lot of inquiries of people looking into invest in an income generating property in residential areas, and I have to break out the bad news about Maui County’s strict laws. I believe these new laws were created because of a lack of long-term rental properties, which inspired me to write this blog about a huge change in Maui County’s Accessory Dwelling ordinance. This change was announced in January 2019 and allows for a second accessory to be added and also allows lots under 7,500 sqft to add an accessory dwelling.

Accessory Dwelling Law Changes

Until this change, in order to have a legal 500 sqft Ohana (accessory dwelling), one would have to have a lot size of at least 7,500 sqft; the allowed Ohana sizes would vary, based on the lot size, to 600, 700 or 1,000 sqft which used to be the maximum size allowed. The new ordinance completely changed this format and allows homeowners to add a second accessory dwelling! See below:

The maximum gross floor area of an accessory dwelling shall be determined as follows:

Lot Area (in sq. ft.) Maximum Gross Covered Floor Area*
  • Up to 7,499 – 500 square feet
  • 7,500 to 9,999 – 600 square feet
  • 10,000 to 21,779 – 720 square feet
  • 21,780 to 43,559 – 840 square feet
  • 43,560 to 87,119 – 960 square feet
  • 87,120 or more – 1200 square feet* (Including any storage, covered decks, walkways, patios, lanais, and similar structures but excluding a carport or parking space).

Although this is great news, there are zoning restrictions in place to regulate where a second Ohana could be added.

The provisions of the chapter shall apply to any lots in the following county zoning and state land use districts:

  1. Residential district
  2. Apartment district
  3. Hotel district
  4. Interim zoning district
  5. State land use rural district

No accessory dwelling shall be placed or constructed on any lot located in any district other than the districts specified in this subsection. Agricultural zoning districts will not be able to add a 2nd accessory dwelling, but will be able to increase the size of an existing accessory dwelling.

There are restrictions also regarding the permitted size of the covered lanais, decks, walkways, patios, or similar structures:

Lot Area (in sq. ft.) & Maximum Cumulative Floor Area
  • Up to 7,499 – 200 square feet
  • 7,500 to 9,999 – 240 square feet
  • 10,000 to 21,779 – 280 square feet
  • 21,780 to 43,559 – 320 square feet
  • 43,560 to 87,119 – 360 square feet
  • 87,120 or more – 400 square feet

A Few More Important Details:

  • An accessory dwelling shall have at least one separate entrance.
  • An accessory dwelling shall not have an interior connection to the main dwelling.
  • Off-street parking required: an accessory dwelling shall have a carport, garage, or other off-street parking space to be used by residents of the accessory dwelling.
  • No accessory dwelling shall be used as a bed and breakfast home, short-term rental home, or transient vacation rental.

Looking for a Home on Maui?

If you have been looking for a single-family home in Maui, I am 100% sure that you have seen a few homes that have “nohanas” or additions/alterations that created a second or third dwelling. This will give some homeowners the opportunity to have their “chopped” house to have a legal ohana or ohanas! It will cost them “after-the-fact” fines, and they will have to deal with Maui county inspectors, but it should benefit them in the end by adding more value to their properties.

If you would like more information about this ordinance, feel free to contact me, Alex Abreu, and I will point you in the right direction to obtain more information.

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