To Build a Shed or Not to Build a Shed – A Pop Quiz For Maui Property Owners
True or False? You can build a shed of up to 1,000 ft.² on agriculturally zoned properties in Hawaii without obtaining a building permit.
Answer: Surprisingly, it’s true, but I would never recommend it. Read on and you’ll discover why.
Photovoltaic shed (Shed 1)
Building Structures on Ag Land – Do You Need a Permit?
The North Shore of Maui has its fair share of
freaky patchouli slathered hipsters creative property owners that have long taken advantage of the popular provision in the zoning code that allows you to build up to a 200 ft.² structure on agricultural properties without requiring a permit. (Email me for details on County Code.)
Imagine my surprise then when one of my clients said, “Oh no, I think you can build up to 1,000 ft.² without a permit.” Luckily, I had the good sense to be polite and investigate further, because I was thinking, “Hell to the no!”
As it turns out, there is a little known bill that was passed called Act 114, which allows commercial farmers on Ag Lands to build farm specific structures (greenhouses, barns, sheds, aquaculture installations, etc.) of up to 1,000 ft.² without requiring a building permit.
The intent of the law was to make it easier for legitimate farmers to erect structures essential to their operations without having to jump through the many hoops required by the building permit process.
I remember hearing about an exasperated orchid farmer that was trying to install steel and glass greenhouses, but was getting challenged by the fire department, despite the fact that the greenhouses were entirely constructed of non-combustible materials.
Being the good investigative Maui Realtor that I am, I decided to go speak to someone at the building department. When I asked one of the women down at the building department about this particular act, she gave me that “Oh no, not Act 114 again!” kind of look. She went on to explain the myriad ways in which this law is likely to create future pilikia (problems) for Hawaii landowners.
Why I Would Recommend Building with a Permit
Bottom line is: “Who wants to potentially entangle their property in future legal issues, re-sale viability issues, etc?” It’s actually not that difficult to get a building permit, and it will ultimately make your life much easier. Email me if you would like access to resources for obtaining building permits in Maui County.
Which Shed Do You Like Best?
This blog post features a couple of my architectural doodles – sheds that I have considered building. Which one do you like the best? I’m kind of loving the egg one right now.
Here they are:
Liam S. Ball, R(S)