The Honolulu City Council made another attempt to restart the discussion around transient vacation rentals (TVRs) and bed-and-breakfast (BBs) operations. The Committee on Zoning and Housing has met to hear testimony–much in opposition–on four resolutions: 17-52 introduced by Ron Menor; 17-163 and 17-164 introduced by Ernie Martin; and 17-301 introduced by Ikaika Anderson.
Airbnb and other like-minded vacation rental supporters voiced strong opposition to resolutions that focused primarily on fines and penalties towards illegal operations. But overall, few owners and advocates offered little support or recommendations for finding common ground. Likewise, opponents of TVRs and BBs were opposed to any effort that would open the permitting process to legalize operations.
Council Member Martin’s resolutions would expand legal operations by offering limited conditional uses based on standards and restrictions. The Honolulu Board of REALTORS® (HBR) believes Martin’s direction provides a fair and balanced approach to addressing community concerns and ensures that HBR members can support private property use with a clear conscience. By increasing penalties for illegal representation and operation, communities are also provided with peace of mind that concerns will be addressed and negative impact on neighbors mitigated.
Council Member Anderson’s resolution provides the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) with tools to be more effective and efficient at regulating and monitoring legal and illegal operations. The proposed changes ensure that enforcement remains a priority and more then adequately generates the necessary revenue to fund inspectors especially around online advertising and other promotional efforts used by owners.
Resolutions will be heard by the full Council on November 1st before going to the Honolulu City & County Department of Planning and Permitting for review and analysis. The resolutions will then be forwarded to the Planning Commission for public hearing. Commission will send its recommendation to the City Council as a bill introduced by the City Administration.
While HBR believes that Oahu homeowners need a solution that preserves private property rights as well as well as the quality of life of our island community, the City Council and Administration takes on a very difficult challenge.