For Immediate Release: August 26, 2022
Press Release by:
Kelly Takaya King, Councilmember
Maui County Council
King urges mayor to sign bill to allow sleeping in cars at county parking lots
KIHEI, Hawaiʻi – Councilmember Kelly Takaya King on Thursday urged Mayor Michael P. Victorino to sign her bill to enable county departments to conditionally allow houseless persons to sleep in their cars at designated county parking lots under a pilot project.
Bill 108, CD1, FD1 (2022), introduced by King, was passed unanimously by the Maui County Council at its meeting Tuesday. As amended at Tuesday’s meeting, the bill would allow Maui County residents to sleep in cars at parking lots designated by county department heads.
“This is only the first step to what the community identifies as a major issue,” said King, who holds the council seat for the South Maui residency area. “Constituents have been asking the county to consider a program like this for years, and I urge the mayor to sign the bill.”
Using a vehicle for human habitation between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. while parked on public property is unlawful under current law. The council unanimously approved a grant for up to $200,000 “to establish a safe zone or a sleeping zone for the houseless,” as a pilot project in the fiscal year 2023 budget ordinance. Bill 108 would enable that project to be realized as soon as possible.
“I am very proud that this council has seen the importance of this,” Maui resident Faith Chase said in testimony on Tuesday. “I feel like if we don’t take this step, then we are not going to figure out how to resolve all the ancillary issues that come up.”
King said human habitation within cars is only permitted after hours under the bill so as to not interfere with the parking lot’s open hours for the general public. She said the bill also requires each person within a vehicle to register with authorized personnel.
“This is really historic in that this opens up the opportunity for so much safety for community members who have been living in very unsafe and dangerous conditions,” Share Your Mana founder Lisa Darcy said in testimony Tuesday.
The budget ordinance requires consultation with Share Your Mana on the grant for the pilot project.
For more information, please contact the Office of Council Services at (808) 270-8008.