Friday, August 07, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, September 08, 2019
The Fight Over Honolulu Vacation Rentals Begins
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 2150 Views :: Honolulu County, Small Business

The Fight Over Honolulu Vacation Rentals Begins

by Tom Yamachika, President, Tax Foundation Hawaii

The fight over short-term rentals in Honolulu has entered another phase.

On June 25, 2019, Honolulu Mayor Caldwell signed into law Ordinance 2019-18, formerly known as Bill 89. The law took effect on August 1, 2019. Basically, if you want to operate short-term (less than 30 days) vacation rentals, either “bed and breakfast homes” where the owner also occupies the premises or “transient vacation rental units” where the owner doesn’t, there are several new provisions and requirements.

If you are in certain designated parts of the island, namely in a resort zoned district or certain A-1 or A-2 apartments, you may operate either a bed and breakfast home or a transient vacation rental unit. If you are not in those parts of the island but you have a valid nonconforming use certificate, you can still rely on your NUC and you need to renew it every even-numbered year.

If you are not in the designated areas and don’t have a NUC, operating a transient vacation rental unit is illegal. If instead you have a bed and breakfast home, you need to register it; there are tons of requirements before you can register it; and in any event you won’t be able to register it before October 1, 2020, because the City is going to need some time to figure out exactly how to administer some of these requirements. Yes, that means that if you are currently operating a B&B and need to register, you need to shut down for at least a year until the City gets its act together.

Some of the requirements contradict themselves. For example, there is a requirement that there be no two registered bed and breakfast homes within 1,000 feet of each other. There is another requirement that no more than 50% of the units in an apartment building can be used as bed and breakfast homes with Association approval. It will be difficult or impossible to meet both requirements unless only one unit in an apartment building can be used as a bed and breakfast home, which makes one wonder if the 50% requirement was supposed to override the 1,000 foot requirement.

If you want to advertise, you must demonstrate in the ad’s text that the advertised rental is legal. For example, the ad can say that the rental is for 30 days or more, or you can include the NUC number in the ad. If the ad doesn’t conform, the advertiser can be cited and fined. Operating a short-term rental without any required registration or permit is also illegal and the operator can be cited and fined. Fines range from $1,000 to $10,000 per day.

The requirements are summarized in a FAQ document that the Department of Planning and Permitting has put out.

Opponents of the ordinance have filed suit in Federal court, citing several laws and constitutional provisions that they think have been violated. Among them is the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits excessive fines and cruel and unusual punishment. This past February, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Timbs v. Indiana, held that this Amendment’s restrictions also apply to state governments, and need to be addressed even for civil asset forfeitures (the case before the Court involved the police seizure of a SUV because it was allegedly used to transport drugs, where the van’s value was more than 4 times the maximum fine that the van’s owner could have been liable for). Applying the Eighth Amendment to this case, therefore, may be charting some new ground in the legal field.

Whatever the ultimate outcome, the new ordinance represents a starkly different approach from the prior law that was difficult to enforce and that was probably winked at more than several times. It remains to be seen whether the Mayor and the City Council have the political will to follow through with vigorous implementation of this new regime.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

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 Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

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

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 Hawaiian

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

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT