[Ed. Note: On Sept. 3, the county announced that a “lack of quorum” was forcing the postponement of the hearing described below. It is now scheduled to take place on Thursday, Oct. 2.]
Because the County of Maui considers much of Lahaina Town to be an “historic district,” there are a ton of rules and regulations governing various design elements beyond that found in standard commercial areas. Chief among these are the guidelines governing the design and placement of signs.
“Historically, signs in Lahaina have been simple designs fabricated with traditional materials,” states the county’s Sign Design Guidelines for Lahaina Historic Districts, which was last revised in 2001. “This approach to design should be used when considering signs within the Lahaina Historic Districts during this current time period… [S]igns are meant to be a restrained visual element within the composition of historically designed building facades and the pedestrian scale and orientation of the street scene.”
“The revisions aim to make the guidelines more clear and consistent, allow a broader choice of materials and design elements, and provide easier enforcement,” Michele McLean, the Planning Department’s deputy director, said in an Aug. 20 county news release. “Commercial signs in the Lahaina Historic Districts require permits issued by the Department of Planning; exceptions can be granted by the CRC.”
They’ve been working all summer on it–and even held two public meetings that took testimony–and are now getting close to making some decisions. In fact, they could vote on the new guidelines at their upcoming meeting on Thursday, Sept. 4. Because the commission will accept both written and verbal testimony at this hearing, county planners are urging the public–especially Lahaina residents and merchants–to attend.
For more information, visit Mauicounty.gov/Planning.
Photo of Lahaina Town: en:User:Calbear22/Wikimedia Commons