City Council considers ban on short-term vacation rentals in residential areas
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Short-term vacation rentals would be banned in residential areas under a bill approved Wednesday by the City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee.
The bill now goes to the full Council for consideration.
Bill 41 would only allow short-term vacation accommodations in or next to resort zoned areas, such as Waikiki and Turtle Bay, while keeping them out of other residential neighborhoods through most of Oahu.
Lawmakers spent over two and a half hours listening to testimony from supporters and opponents.
“I live next to an illegal rental,” said Bill 41 supporter Heather Shank. “Visitors who spent thousands of dollars to stay there felt entitled to party ‘till all hours of the night right outside my kid’s bedroom.”
The bill would also require new residential renters to pay for at least 90 days, but opponents question how that’ll be enforced and say it overlooks certain circumstances.
“I’m from Hawaii, but I live in the mainland now,” said Kirk Madsen, who testified in opposition to the bill. “I’m retired, but I like to come back and I like to right now when I can, 90 days is too much, 30 days is fine. I live in the Waikiki resort district and now you’re making me illegal and I don’t understand.”
The bill’s detractors also argued that private homeowners are being unfairly targeted.
“Why is it that hotels and timeshares are exempted from this bill, while everything else has to be restricted and has fees imposed upon it?” asked bill opponent John An.
As expected, those in the tourism sector expressed their firm support for the measure.
“Illegal vacation rentals negatively impact the quality of life for our residents by taking potential residential properties off the market, increasing traffic in neighborhoods, and by placing additional burdens on infrastructure and facilities,” said Hawaii Tourism Authority Chief Administrative Officer Keith Regan.
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