Permitting and Assessment Process

By assessing development proposals in the context of coastal zone goals and objectives, the Maui County Planning Department strives to sustain unique coastal resources, qualities, and amenities.

The first step in the assessment process is to determine whether or not a proposed structure and/or activity qualifies as a development as stated in the Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Act definitions.

The Planning Department assesses SMA and SSA applications. If the proposed structure/activity qualifies as a development, it will require an SMA permit, and if it is not a development, it is exempt from the shoreline rules.

Once this determination is made, it is reviewed to ensure:
  • Adequate access to beaches, recreational areas, and natural reserves
  • Sufficient provision for treatment of wastes and pollution
  • Minimal adverse effects to coastal resources
  • Sufficient protection from coastal erosion and flood damage
No structure and/or activity is allowed if it will have a substantially adverse environmental / ecological effect. In addition, no structure and/or activity is permitted if it is inconsistent with SMA Rules, SSA Rules, the County General Plan, County Community Plans and County Zoning.

Maui County permits development that meets the above criteria, so long as dredging, filling, and coastal alterations are minimized, beach sizes and public access are maintained, the line of sight to the sea from the nearest State highway is not diminished, and adverse affects to water quality, fisheries, wildlife, habitat, and agricultural uses are minimized.