As reported in the Star Advertiser, City Council will be voting on two measures to rein-in the currently out-of-control, and illegal, vacation rental market. The Star Advertiser reports that:
"The City Council Planning Committee voted today to advance two bills to deal with the island’s perplexing vacation rental issue.One bill would allow for up to about 1,715 newly permitted vacation rentals on the island, while the other would crack down on the thousands of illegal units on the island.
What’s more, the permitted rentals would be required to be operated by an owner-occupant of a home so “whole home” vacation rentals would be out. An effort to include whole home rentals, a plan pushed by major vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb and Expedia, failed to garner enough support to move out of the committee.
The two bills, 85 (2018) and 89 (2018), now go to the full Council for a vote scheduled for May 8.
Both Planning Committee Chairman Ikaika Anderson and Councilman Ron Menor, who authored or co-authored the latest draft of the two bills, called the legislation a reasonable compromise.
The Council and a string of mayors have been trying unsuccessfully to tackle the complex vacation rental issue for several decades since the city stopped issuing permits for them in 1989. DPP estimates there are only 816 legal units outside of resort zones but between 6,000 and 8,000 illegal units on Oahu."
The speculators who are purchasing properties across the island, many in neighborhoods not zoned for this type of business, are lobbying the City Council hard to not pass these two bills. Similarly, operators of these illegal vacation rentals are signing petitions in the hopes of swaying council members from enacting these common sense bills to regulate the industry.
The measure will be voted-on on 8 May. There is a link where anyone can register to provide testimony about these illegal vacation rentals and the two measures to be voted on. Similarly, there is a link where anyone can submit written testimony online, and that testimony will be distributed to all council members. We provide those links below and encourage everyone interested in this issue to make their voices heard, either in person or through written testimony.
Persons wishing to testify IN PERSON are requested to register as follows:
On-Line at http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html
Written testimony may be faxed to 768-3826 or transmitted via the internet at http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html for distribution at the meeting. You can also fill-out a "Testimony Form" online at this link to submit your comments.