When Mayor Rick Blangiardi proposed legislation aimed at shutting down short-term vacation rentals in August, the city got a lot of pushback from angry rental operators.

Now, the administration is proposing a new version of Bill 41 just days before the measure is expected to be discussed at the Honolulu City Council for the first time.

The committee draft, or CD1, will give the Department of Planning and Permitting greater enforcement powers and “incorporate many comments and issues raised by the community at recent public hearings,” the administration said in a press release on Thursday afternoon.

“The intent of the bill is clear, which is to crack down on all illegal vacation rentals, particularly in residential areas,” the city said in the release. “Based on hours of testimony before the (Planning) Commission, the DPP revised the bill for further clarification to ensure this objective will be met.”

The proposed CD1 will create a short-term rental “enforcement fund,” reinstate language about hosting platforms that was previously removed, allow people who own and live in hotel units to continue their residency and permit bed and breakfast homes and transient vacation units in Makaha Valley and the Waikiki Resort Mixed Use precinct.

The legislation prohibits unpermitted property owners from renting their units for less than 180 days – up from the current 30 – but the new version adds exceptions to that rule. For example, it wouldn’t apply to patients, clients or temporary employees of health care facilities, full-time students, full-time remote workers, military personnel or homeowners in transition, among other specific groups. Owners will be required to show supporting documentation for guests staying under an exception.

The bill is scheduled for a first reading at City Council on Nov. 10. The new version of the bill can be found here. Those seeking to testify on the measure can do so here.

Not a subscription

Civil Beat is a small nonprofit newsroom, and we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content because we believe in journalism as a public service.
That’s why donations from readers like you are essential to our continued existence.
Help keep our journalism free for all readers by becoming a monthly member of Civil Beat today.

About the Author