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Exempt shipping containers from building permit requirement

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Maui County Council Water and Infrastructure Committee on June 20, 2024.
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June 20, 2024, 9 a.m.
Council Chamber, Kalana O Maui Building

To: Maui County Council, Water and Infrastructure Committee
      Tom Cook, Chair
      Yuki Lei Sugimura, Vice-Chair

From: Jonathan Helton, Policy Researcher
           Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

RE: BILL 96 — A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 16.25, MAUI COUNTY CODE, ON PERMIT EXEMPTIONS FOR SHIPPING CONTAINERS

Aloha Chair Cook, Vice-Chair Sugimura and other Council members,

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii would like to offer its support for — and an amendment toBill 96 (2024), which would eliminate the need for a building permit to use shipping containers to store construction materials on industrial- or agricultural-zoned land.

We support this measure because it would be a way to cut back on Maui County’s severe permitting backlog[1] without introducing any significant health or safety issues.

In fact, Maui officials should consider eliminating other such activities that currently require county building permits.

As for our proposed amendment, Grassroot suggests that the Council add rural and commercial zones to the areas where shipping containers can be allowed without a permit, since those zones often permit uses similar to those in the agriculture and industrial zones.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

Jonathan Helton

Policy Researcher
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
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[1] Daniela Bond-Smith, Rachel Inafuku and Justin Tyndall, “The Hawaii Housing Factbook 2024,” Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawai‘i, May 20, 2024, p. 9.

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