Honolulu City Council rejects bed-and-breakfast bill - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Honolulu City Council rejects bed-and-breakfast bill

Susan Bryson Susan Bryson
Paula Ress Paula Ress
Max Toney Max Toney
Mark Pepritz Mark Pepritz
Angela Tisseraud Angela Tisseraud

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was the final clash of sentiment and signs at City Hall over short-term vacation rentals.

"We could have run and hid from this issue which would have been grossly irresponsible and would have made all of us cowards on this City Council," councilman Ikaika Anderson said.

Anderson and three colleagues favored the bed-and-breakfast bill. Six votes were needed for it to pass.

"It's not going to get any better than this. It's a great bill," supporter Susan Bryson said.

Bill 7 would open the door to more than 1,200 more bed and breakfast operations by granting them a license to operate.

But opponents pleaded with the council to vote the bill down, saying B&B's increase traffic and turn neighborhoods into tourist traps.

"That would make possible 300 hotel rooms within a quarter mile of my house," Paula Ress said.

The bill was the last stand for supporters who wanted the city to legalize more bed and breakfasts in neighborhoods like Kailua.

On Oahu 53 are licensed but lots of B&B's operate without a license.

"What this says is if you do something illegal long enough you'll receive a pat on the back and legal status down the road," Max Toney told the council.

The final vote was split 4 and 4. The bill was rejected. Bed and breakfast operators were crushed.

"How can that be? How can some councilmen be so closed minded?" B&B owner Angela Tisseraud said.

"I'll have to shut down the doors and I guess I'll have to put my house up for sale," Mark Pepritz said.

The vote ends a four-year-long debate on the bill but the argument has been going on for twenty years.

The last year Oahu licensed B&B's was 1989.

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