Evolution-Local Maui

A Community Hub for Activating our Evolutionary Potential

local ISSUES

local planning and land-use ISSUES

This section is being developed, and will provide an overview of planning and land-use issues on Maui including:

  • historical background
  • an overview of the Maui Plan
  • an overview of the role of different local and State government bodies
  • an overview of different development plans and proposals


The basis for planning Maui's future development and land-use is the General Plan, which consists of the Countywide Policy Plan (2011), the Maui Island Plan (2012), and the individual Community Plans (some have been completed, some have not). The vision laid out in the Countywide Policy Plan is wonderful, and begins with:

  1. Maui County will be an innovative model of sustainable island living and a place where every individual can grow to reach his or her potential.
  2. The needs of each individual, the needs of the whole community, and the needs of our natural and cultural assets will be brought into balance to reflect the high value we place on both our natural environment and our people.

Yet currently there are dozens of development proposals on the books, both for commercial and residential development (largely luxury housing). Predictions are that Maui's population will grow by tens of thousands of people in the coming decades. Yet both the island's natural ecosystems and its road, water, and wastewater infrastructure are already stressed by the current population.

Planning and Land-Use issues are addressed largely at the County and State levels, by multiple committees, commissions, boards and agencies with overlapping mandates. Within the Maui County Council are the Planning Committee and Land-Use Committee. Also at the County level are the Planning Department, the Maui Planning Commission, and the Board of Variances and Appeals. At the State level are the Office of Planning and the State Land Use Commission.


County of Maui General Plan

The Maui County General Plan is a long-term, comprehensive blueprint for the physical, economic, environmental development and cultural identity of the county.

The 2030 Maui County General Plan is comprised of:

1.       The Countywide Policy Plan (2011)

2.       The Maui Island Plan (MIP, 2012) and the

3.       The Community Plans adopted in various years.

The Countywide Policy Plan (CPP)

The Countywide Policy Plan, adopted on 3/24/2010, provides broad goals, objectives, policies, and implementing actions that portray the desired direction of the County's future. This includes: (1) a vision statement and core values for the County to the year 2030; (2) an explanation of the plan-making process; (3) a description and background information regarding Maui County today; (4) identification of guiding principles; and (5) a list of countywide goals, objectives, policies, and implementing actions related to the following core themes:

·         Protect the Natural Environment

·         Preserve Local Cultures and Traditions

·         Improve Education

·         Strengthen Social and Healthcare Services

·         Expand Housing Opportunities for Residents

·         Strengthen the Local Economy

·         Improve Parks and Public Facilities

·         Diversify Transportation Options

·         Improve Physical Infrastructure

·         Promote Sustainable Land Use and Growth Management

·         Strive for Good Governance

The Countywide Policy Plan also provides the policy framework for the development of the Maui Island Plan and the nine Community Plans. The Countywide Policy Plan is the outgrowth of, and includes the elements of the earlier General Plans of 1980 and 1990.

The Maui Island Plan

The Maui Island Plan (MIP), adopted on 12/28/2012, provides direction for future growth, the economy, and social and environmental decisions through 2030 based on a vision founded on core values, goals, objectives, policies and actions. The Plan was based on an assessment of current and future needs and available resources.

The MIP establishes a Directed Growth Strategy which identifies areas appropriate for future urbanization and revitalization. The plan establishes urban and rural growth areas that indicate where development is intended and will be supported. Growth areas are intended to provide for less costly services, reduced commuting, protection of community character and the preservation of agriculture, open space and cultural and natural resources.

The Socio-Economic Forecast for the General Plan was updated in July 2014 and the MIP Implementation Plan was adopted in 2015.

The plan becomes the principal tool for the County and its citizens to use when evaluating public and private projects on Maui island and their impacts on land use, the economy, environment, infrastructure, and cultural resources. The MIP is meant to be used by County policy boards, staff and the community as a guiding policy document for decision-making on discretionary development proposals and for developing, implementing and applying land use policies and regulations.

The Maui County Planning Department’s Long Range Planning Division is responsible for the preparation, adoption and implementation of the MIP.

The Community Plans

Community Plans have been prepared for the Hāna, Pa'ia-Ha’iku, West Maui, Makawao- Pukalani-Kula, Kihei-Makena and Wailuku-Kahului areas. They address a 20-year planning period and must be updated every 10 years per Maui County Code Chapter 2.08B. Each plan provides a land use map and addresses land use, density and design, transportation, cultural resources, community facilities and infrastructure in two-year increments, visitor accommodations, commercial and residential areas and other matters related to development of the planning area.