Controversy over the impact of short-term vacation rentals in Hawaii persists, as the Aloha State continues to contend with post-pandemic overtourism and reassesses how out-of-area travelers affect the communities they’re visiting.
On Tuesday, the city of Honolulu’s City Council passed new legislation, which extends the required minimum duration for guest stays in short-term rentals on Oahu to three months, from the current period of 30 days.
The Council passed the measure in an eight-to-one vote, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Since Honolulu’s Mayor Rick Blangiardi introduced the request for these changes himself, it’s expected that he’ll readily sign off on the bill.
With few exceptions, the new rules will also restrict the operation of short-term rentals to the island’s resort-zoned areas in Koolina, Kuilima, Makaha and parts of Waikiki. The only exceptions made might be for apartment-zoned areas close to resort areas, which may permit short-term guests to rent entire properties as Transient Vacation Rentals, or for B&Bs where someone resides on the property long-term, but may rent rooms to visitors on a short-term basis.
The measure will also increase registration fees for legal vacation rentals and prohibit on-street parking in communities zoned as rural, residential or apartment-use. Vehicle traffic and parking congestion has been one of the major issues impacting residents ever since Hawaii began welcoming back out-of-state travelers.
Locals remain divided over the value of allowing short-term rentals, according to the Associated Press.
“Short-term rentals are disruptive to the character and fabric of our residential neighborhoods,” Thomas Cestare of the Lanikai Association opined in a written testimony.
“I just think that the vacationer that comes here that rents for 30 days is contributing to our community,” said April Perreira Pluss, who has designated a portion of her Kailua home as a vacation rental. Pluss said she would never have purchased the property if she’d realized short-term rental legislation might change.