On August 1, 2019, the Hawaii Vacation Rental Owners Association and Honolulu land use attorney Greg Kugle of the Damon Key law firm, filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against the City and County over Bill 89. Bill 89 takes effect on August 1, 2019 as Ordinance 19-18. Although the stated purpose of the law is to regulate illegal short-term rentals, it is being interpreted by the Department of Planning and Permitting in a way that will unfairly target the owners of legal residential rentals of 30 days or more, and will have a devastating impact on Oahu’s economy.
Greg Kugle said “Ordinance 19-18 is unconstitutional because it violates the Search and Seizure, Due Process, Property, Privacy and Free Speech guarantees of the United States and Hawaii Constitutions, and it also violates numerous federal and state laws governing confidential information, zoning laws and administrative procedures. The City Council rushed through a flawed, unfair and illegal bill, and in its haste to crack down, the DPP has released illegal rules which violate the rights of the owners of legal rentals.” He also said “HVROA, on behalf of itself, its members, and all other Oahu property owners who seek to rent their properties to guests in a way that has been perfectly legal for thirty years, is seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the flawed and heavy-handed enforcement of Ordinance 19-18 that has been announced by DPP, and to prevent the compelled disclosure of private and confidential information that the City wants to share will other law enforcement agencies. We should all be concerned when the Bill of Rights is so easily swept aside.”
HVROA has been advocating for fair regulation of the laws that protect the rights of owners and managers and meet the changing demands of Oahu’s growing visitor industry. Since 2006, HVROA has been active at Honolulu Hale and in the courts, when necessary, to preserve property rights and seek fair treatment for its members and the broader rental industry.