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Show Aloha to Home Businesses

People who work from home are hard-workers just trying to make ends meet.

July 22, 2010
Steve Murray · Kīhei

Thank you very much for all of the aloha with that visit!

Well, that’s exactly what happened to a friend of mine in Kīhei a few days ago who has been running a clean, quiet business in her home for over seven years with no problems. “Someone” called in a complaint to the county that she was doing business illegally. It’s not her neighbors, because they’ve signed a petition stating that she is a good neighbor and they don’t mind her having her business in the neighborhood.

Maybe the “someone” was a jealous competitor or a disgruntled customer. It doesn’t really matter at this point who it was.

This unannounced county representative came out to her home, took some pictures, said she was in violation of a few things, was doing her work there illegally and needed a variance to work in a residential R2 area. And oh, by the way, the variances are not being given out now, and she is required to stop her work immediately.

I think this smells of an agency on a power trip. My friend, as you can well imagine, was totally shocked! She is in total compliance with the state, but honestly unaware that she was not with the county.

Put yourself in her place. Could this traumatic event been handled in a more compassionate manner within the spirit of aloha? I think so; that is if the county truly cared about its hard working, tax-paying citizens. Couldn’t the county give her a time frame in which to comply (a few months) and then stop work if this is such a big deal to them?

Don’t they have bigger “fish” to fry? Don’t they realize that people with home businesses are good, honest, hard-working people in our community that are trying to make ends meet and now may lose their home businesses—possibly their homes—and in the long term may have their personal health jeopardized by these sudden events? When will this stop?

The apparent solution to my friend’s predicament is all too time-consuming, burdensome and may never occur. I think Maui County should back off from these situations and give my friend—and those like her—some breathing room in order that they can let the shock wear off and try and figure out how to proceed without their lives being ruined.



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