Honolulu City Council advances 2 Oahu vacation rental bills

HONOLULU — The Honolulu City Council has advanced two bills aimed at providing regulations on short-term vacation rentals on Oahu.

Both bills now go back to the Council Planning Committee, as interim Council Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi proposes a new draft of Bill 89, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported on Friday.

Bill 85 calls for no new vacation rentals to be permitted but allows a neighbor to seek legal action against a bed-and-breakfast or transient vacation unit operator who is violating city laws. It also would make hosting platforms liable for illegal transactions.

Bill 89 would allow up to 4,000 bed-and-breakfast operations — those run by owner-occupants — across Oahu but no new “whole home” vacation rentals, also known as TVUs, where there is no owner-occupant present.

Bill 89 is supported by hotel-resort industry representatives who think it’s a fair compromise.

Kobayashi’s proposal would allow for some whole-home vacation rentals, so long as the operators can prove they live in another Oahu residence they own by providing a homeowner exemption.

The draft also calls for these operators to pay the same tax rate as owners of hotels and resorts instead of a new vacation rental rate for B&Bs, and wants the operator to submit a telephone number for neighbors to voice their concerns 24 hours a day.

Kobayashi said she’s not a fan of whole-home TVUs, but wants councilmembers to at least address concerns raised by local residents who said they want to be able to hold onto their family home.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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