Last week, the Hawaii County council voted 6–1 to pass short-term rental regulation Bill 108, which blocks new non-owner-occupied short-term rentals, limits where they can operate, and requires registration with the planning department. The ordinance will go into effect on April 1, 2019.
The ordinance permits non-owner-occupied short-term rentals in only resort-hotel districts, general commercial districts, village commercial districts, residential and commercial districts within the general plan resort and resort node areas, and multifamily districts for multifamily dwellings within condominium properties. They are not permitted in most agricultural zones because of a state law regarding overnight accommodations in these areas.
Related article with more on this bill: Hawaii County Advances Short-Term Rental Bill
Hawaii County was the only county in the state that hadn’t adopted any regulations on short-term rentals. Council and planning commission members acknowledged Bill 108 is a framework and will need to be amended over time.
“Although it’s been a very long process, I believe we have come to a point where we’ve set up a very fair and balanced approached to provide visitors the opportunity to stay in this type of vacation rental while also, at the same time, preserving our residential neighborhoods and housing for the people who live and work on the island,” said council member Karen Eoff, who introduced this bill with council member Dru Mamo Kanuha.
Council member Eileen O’Hara was the only member to oppose the bill. “It’s hard for me to support this, especially since about 95 percent of the testimony coming through–my email, anyway–opposes this,” she said. O’Hara represents the eastern half of Puna where the Kīlauea volcano eruption and lava flow earlier this year wiped out many vacation rentals. Much of this region is also zoned for agricultural use.