Homestay bill to go to committee

LIHUE — A proposed bill aimed to get tighter control over homestay operations was referred to committee Wednesday.

Bill 2609 was set for second reading. It was first introduced in December by Councilmember Mason Chock.

According to the bill, applications for a homestay, which is permitted through a use permit, are completed by the Planning Department on a first come, first serve basis.

The bill states that a homestay operation must adhere to the following guidelines:

• Transient accommodations are provided for visitors for 29 days or less.

• Homestays outside of the Visitor Destination Area will be limited to one operation per lot.

• During operations, the owners must reside at the operation site and physically be available for the needs and concerns of their guests.

• No other individual may act on the owners behalf to meet the requirements.

Additionally, a homestay zoning permit must be renewed annually, according to the bill.

Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura moved to refer the the bill to committee.

“I want to see if it’s possible to allow some of the long-standing businesses, that have in good faith, have had homestays for a very long time to continue those homestays,” she said.

To make sure those homestays are represented, Yukimura said she’s been working on an amendment which she plans to introduce later.

Local homestay owner, Lonna Hoff, thanked Yukimura for the amendment.

“I appreciate what she’s trying to do,” she said, “I’m pleased to see you’re progressing with this.”

Bill No. 2609 will be discussed during the May 11 committee meeting.

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Jenna Carpenter, education reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or jcarpenter@thegardenisland.com.

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