UNITED STATES NEWS

Maui officials aim to accelerate processing of permits to help Lahaina rebuild

Mar 8, 2024, 5:52 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — Local officials in Hawaii next month plan to open an office that will speed up Maui County’s notoriously slow processing of building permits to help the town of Lahaina to recover from last year’s deadly wildfire.

Keanu Lau Hee, the county’s deputy managing director, told a community meeting in Lahaina that a County Expedited Permitting Center will open in April. She said the county has selected a vendor to it help review applications.

“If any of you have had the pleasure of filing a permit with the county – we’re not that quick,“ she said at the meeting, which was held on Wednesday and streamed online.

Hawaii’s four counties, and Maui County in particular, are well-known for lengthy permit processing times. University of Hawaii researchers have found that in the last five years, the state’s median wait time for a construction permit to build a multifamily project was 400 days.

The Aug. 8 wildfire destroyed more than 2,000 buildings and displaced 4,500 people in Lahaina. Lau Hee said 87% of those who lost their homes were renters, and the rest were homeowners. To date, 3,800 people are still living in hotels.

The new permitting center will help private developers building five separate projects with a combined total of more than 500 housing units.

Lau Hee said the county also wanted to help property owners rebuild after workers finishing cleaning toxic debris and utility infrastructure is in place. She said the county hopes properties will be cleared by early next year.

“Our goal is to create opportunities for you folks to start rebuilding on your properties,” she said.

About 3,800 residents are still living in hotels.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is building 169 temporary housing units for displaced residents and is renting 1,300 units from landlords. The state of Hawaii is building about 450 temporary housing units, including 270 that will be ready by July or August. The state’s temporary units are expected to be used for three to five years.

United States News

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump addresses the crowd at a campaign e...

Associated Press

What to know about the attempt on Trump’s life and its aftermath

The FBI is still trying to determine a motive behind Saturday’s attempt to assassinate former President Donald Trump, while the tone of this week’s Republican convention in Milwaukee likely will be dominated by the violence. A former fire chief who was killed at Trump’s Pennsylvania rally is being remembered as a “man of conviction.” The […]

32 minutes ago

Associated Press

Mechanical issues prompt 2 Delta Air Lines flights to divert, return to airport

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two Delta Air Lines flights were diverted over the weekend because of mechanical issues, the FAA said Monday. Delta flight 927, en route from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to Atlanta, was diverted to St. Louis shortly before noon Saturday because of an issue with cabin pressure, the airline said in a statement. […]

2 hours ago

FILE - An overwhelmed residents surveys the damage following flooding caused by the remnants of Hur...

Associated Press

Vermont seeks federal damage assessment for floods caused by Hurricane Beryl’s remnants

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont is seeking an assessment to determine whether last week’s flooding, which damaged homes, knocked down bridges and washed out roads, qualifies for a federal disaster declaration and aid. The flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Beryl happened a year after the state experienced catastrophic flooding that left some victims still […]

2 hours ago

In this image from video provided by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Aileen Cannon testifies virtua...

Associated Press

Federal judge dismisses Trump classified documents case

A federal judge dismissed Donald Trump's classified documents case over concerns about the appointment of the prosecutor.

3 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Butle...

Associated Press

Federal judge dismisses Trump classified documents case over concerns with prosecutor’s appointment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal judge presiding over the classified documents case of former President Donald Trump in Florida has dismissed the prosecution because of concerns over the appointment of the prosecutor who brought the case. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted the defense motion to dismiss the case on Monday. Lawyers for Trump had […]

3 hours ago

FILE - Simone Biles and the U.S. women celebrate as the 2024 team is named at the United States Gym...

Associated Press

US Olympic fundraising team sets audacious goal of raising $500 million by 2028

The fundraising arm for the U.S. Olympic team is revving up a donation drive aimed at raising $500 million by the time the Summer Olympics return to Los Angeles in 2028. Organizers rolled out the program Monday, hoping to use the momentum of this year’s Olympics, which begin July 26, to bring in funds for […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Maui officials aim to accelerate processing of permits to help Lahaina rebuild