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Exempt shipping containers from need to get permits

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Maui County Council on June 7, 2024.
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June 7, 2024, 9 a.m.
Council Chamber
Kalana O Maui Building

To: Maui County Council
      Alice Lee, Chair
      Yuki Lei Sugimura, Vice-Chair

From: Jonathan Helton, Policy Researcher
           Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

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

Aloha Chair Lee, Vice-Chair Sugimura and other Councilmembers,

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii would like to offer its support for and an amendment to Bill 96 (2024), which would specify that people do not need a building permit to use shipping containers to store construction materials on industrial- or agricultural-zoned land.

This measure would expand Maui County’s existing list of types of work that do not require a building permit.

In fact, because the County faces a severe backlog in issuing permits,[1] bills that provide additional exemptions should be welcome as a way to cut back on the permitting wait list.

For this bill, Grassroot suggests that the Council add rural and commercial zones to the zones where shipping containers could 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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