Sunday, August 25, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, February 04, 2019
​Volcano Homeowners Face New Threat—From Government
By Selected News Articles @ 3:52 PM :: 2064 Views :: Hawaii County , Land Use, Tourism

Volcano Homeowners Face New Threat—From Government

by Christina Sandefur, Goldwater Institute, February 1, 2019

Kilauea’s eruption on the island of Hawai‘i made 2018 a tough year for local businesses. Now a new anti-home-sharing law is threatening to hamper recovery in the town of Volcano, where tourism is the backbone of the economy. Beginning April 1, homeowners won’t be allowed to offer their homes as short-term rentals unless their properties fall within designated “resort zones”—and they can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines for violating that law.

Ironically, homeowners in Volcano could be spared from these regulations if their city were itself rezoned as a “resort zone,” but then they’d have to give up the town’s quiet, residential atmosphere to make way for large hotels. By contrast, home-sharing—the ability to rent one’s home to guests for a short period of time—has allowed local restaurants and businesses to thrive on tourism while still allowing the town to maintain its residential character. That’s not surprising: After all, home-sharing is a residential use, and renting a home for a short period of time doesn’t transform a house into a hotel. But instead of letting local residents decide for themselves how to use their property in a manner that’s consistent with the small-town atmosphere, government officials are forbidding homeowners from welcoming guests who help the local economy thrive.

Bans on home-sharing are usually rationalized on the theory that home-sharing causes noise or excessive traffic. It’s questionable whether that’s really the case, but even if it is, officials should focus on whether owners or tenants are causing nuisances, rather than writing across-the-board bans or discriminating between people based on whether they rent their homes on a short-term or long-term basis. That distinction makes no sense—if people are causing a ruckus, the police can and should put a stop to it, regardless of whether those people are staying for a month or just a single night.

Cities nationwide are now facing litigation over extreme anti-home-sharing regulations that tread on people’s rights without addressing legitimate nuisance concerns. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve crafted a state-level legislative solution that ensures cities can restrict real nuisances—without making responsible property owners into outlaws simply because they let guests stay in their homes overnight. States that have adopted this approach, like Arizona, Tennessee, and Indiana, are protecting their citizens’ rights—promoting quiet, clean, and safe neighborhoods, and obviating the need for statewide litigation against overreaching cities. Property owners coast-to-coast are calling upon lawmakers to follow in these states’ footsteps.

But citizens shouldn’t have to beg the legislatures or courts to protect their rights. City officials have a duty to craft reasonable policy solutions rather than rushing to pass excessive regulations or outright bans on home-sharing that cause more problems than they solve—and that violate people’s constitutional rights. Some cities, like Colorado Springs, are taking care to regulate home-sharing in a lawful manner by focusing on genuine health and safety concerns, making home-sharers follow the same rules as everyone else, and otherwise leaving people free to rent their property as they see fit.

Other officials are taking a more passive approach. Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel E. Bowser recently refused to sign an anti-home-sharing bill because she believed it was unconstitutional and likely to be overturned by the courts. This came after a federal judge blocked a similar New York City ordinance that forced home-sharing platforms to turn over personal information about their users. (Of course, if Mayor Bowser thinks the D.C. ordinance violates her constituents’ rights, she should have put them first and vetoed the legislation, since the bill can automatically become law even without her signature, after the 30-day congressional review period required for D.C. legislation.)

Home-sharing has become a controversial issue in recent years, and knee-jerk, emotional reactions make for bad laws. They also deprive homeowners of needed economic opportunities–especially in areas where residents are struggling to recover from downturns and disasters, like on Hawai‘i’s Big Island. City officials and state lawmakers alike should take a deep breath and focus on eliminating noise, traffic, and pollution—regardless of whether those problems are caused by an overnight guest or the homeowner himself. Determining who is and is not suitable to stay in a given neighborhood isn’t the government’s job.

Christina Sandefur is the Executive Vice President of the Goldwater Institute.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

Affordable Hawaii Coalition

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT