Local Connection: The City Council and Vacation Rentals

Local Connection: The City Council and Vacation Rentals

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Once again, the city council has failed to come to grips with the explosion of illegal vacation rentals on Oahu.

In a series of marathon hearings, many -- perhaps hundreds -- of vacation rental owners came forward to defend their mostly illegal industry.

With no apologies for years of illegal activity, they complain that their livelihood, local jobs, and even the visitor industry itself are in jeopardy if the city puts them out of business.

This is another case where a privilege to often extended becomes a right.

The lack of action by the council and the city over the years has allowed this industry to become entrenched, which is why it will now take political courage and leadership to bring back reasonable regulations.

It’s similar to challenge of limiting immigration – while 11 million undocumented people are already living, working and raising families in every corner of the nation.

The council and the mayor need to have the courage to find a balance – and accept that any solution will make everyone unhappy.

For that – they have no one to blame but themselves.

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