Special Management Area Permits


Once a determination is made as to whether a proposed activity and/or structure is a development or not a development, the Planning Department evaluates the proposed action to determine if it is exempt from SMA Rules or requires a Major, Minor, or Emergency SMA Permit.


Typically, the SMA evaluation considers impacts to the environment, historic and cultural resources, drainage and impervious surface cover, public views of the ocean, public access to beaches and shoreline, and the cumulative impacts of development.


An SMA exemption is issued when the proposed activity and/or structure is not a development and will have no negative impacts.


Minor Permits

Minor SMA permits are issued for those projects costing less than $500,000 and do not require a public hearing process.

Major Permits

Major SMA permits are issued for those structures or activities costing more than $500,000 or that may have coastal or environmental impacts. Major permits are required to go through a public hearing process and approval rests with the Maui Planning Commission rather than with the Director of the Planning Department.

Emergency Permits

Emergency SMA permits are only issued when structures or public safety are imminently threatened.

Permit Applications