Big Island officials pass bill regulating vacation rentals

HILO — Big Island officials have passed a bill prohibiting short-term vacation rentals in residential and agricultural zones.

West Hawaii Today reports the Hawaii County Council voted 6-1 Tuesday in favor of the measure, sending it to the county Planning Department to draft rules.

The ruled are expected to be finalized by April.

The bill allows short-term rentals, where the owner or operator does not live on site, in commercial districts and hotel and resort zones.

It will require all vacation rental owners to register their properties, pay a $500 fee and show that all relevant taxes are paid.

Existing rentals in residential and agricultural zones will be allowed to continue operating under a nonconforming use certificate, which costs $250 and must be renewed annually.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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