Hawaii Short Term Vacation Rentals in Jeopardy of Being Shut Down

Real Estate Agent with Kona Home Team (luva llc) RS 62947

Real Estate News for February 21, 2019 Bill 108 and Rule 23 Updates:

      As the 2018 President of West Hawaii Association of Realtors (WHAR) , I watched, and worked closely with our Government Affairs Committee when they met with local officials and assisted them in understanding some of the unintended consequences that will happen as this Bill 108 became law.  They had success in some areas, and are working with officials on other areas. (they have 100s of hours and countless meetings gathering information and distributing them ) 
I have to give a huge shout out and Mahalo to the West Hawaii Association of Realtors Government Affairs Committee, representing the largest Realtor voice on the Big Island of Hawaii , You guys rock with all your knowledge and willingness to share with the community - Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 

Note: This is not Pro/Con for Short Term Vacation Rentals, this is "PRO" property owners rights.  
Right to Quiet Enjoyment, and Right to Best and Highest Use of ones Property ( a fine line I have learned) 

Please Join us February 28 2019 in West Hawaii and March 1 2019 in Hilo 
(See all links at the bottom of this page for the full report). 

Link to RULE 23 Draft (read this first)

Here are the BIGGEST concerns 

  • Priority 1 Items
    • Requirement of scale drawing on 11x17 paper.  23-10(c-7, 8, 9, 10) This was never in Bill 108.  The Bill only calls for “site plan”. This current form will require a licensed surveyor, and architect, and currently we, as Realtors, cannot get a survey in a timely manner.  This is unreasonable and costly.
    • Invalidating PUD’s  23-7(c) This was never in Bill 108, nor was it ever in the discussion.  There are ocean front PUD’s in Kona which have allowed STR’s for years.  The Zoning of lots within PUD’s should determine their status under 108.  We believe that if passed, this will be the subject of litigation.
    • In addition to existing rule.  23-7(d) We agree that private covenants prohibiting STR’s should not be invalidated by 108.  By the same token, we believe that private covenants specifically allowing STR’s should also not be invalidated by 108. 
    • Existing legal STVR’s “applying” vs registering23-8(b-1) Why is this an "application”?  That word implies that it may not be approved.  Under what authority does the Planning Director have to approve/disapprove what is determined to be a legal use of a property under 108?  A more proper wording could be "...shall complete their registration for an STVR..."
    • Requirement of a Second Notice.  Pure redundancy23-15(b) This was never in Bill 108.  The Director has added the requirement that owners acting reasonably and attempting to comply with 108 now need must endure the expense and effort of a second notice. 
    • Applications being in 2 newspapers.  23-15(b-5) This was never in Bill 108.  This is a massive security issue as it allows thieves a menu of properties often not occupied by owners.  Additionally, a Federal Judge in New York found a similar statute to be unconstitutional as it was an invasion of privacy
  • Priority 2 Items
    • Managers required to be on site within 3 hours, 24/7/365.  23-3(j) We want to be on record that this is a safety issue.  Requiring property managers to be on site for complaints will cause conflicts which may escalate to violence and intimidation.  No other class of property managers are held to the same standard.
    • Additional Site Inspection Fee.  23-9(c-4) This was never in Bill 108.  The $500 application/registration fee should include the site inspection.  Would a site inspection fee be due for Planning Department response to a complaint?  If so, what if that complaint was determined to be without merit?
  • Priority 3 Items
    • Discriminatory language.  23-6(c) Terms like "character of a neighborhood" werehave a long history of being used for discriminatory practices and Red-Lining decades ago.  If this was in Georgia, it would be national news.  We strongly suggest elimination of this item.  We believe this will be litigated relatively soon after enforcement.
    • Special events.  23-6(d-1-D) This was not in Bill 108 and the Planning Director has added it without community input.  Weddings do not require permits on private property.
    • 23-9(a) Who manages and audits the Short Term Vacation Rental Enforcement Account?  What happens to excess monies?  Will an independent body provide oversight and audits?
    • 23-10(c-5) The determination of “ongoing basis” is very vague.  We believe this will be litigated relatively soon after enforcement.
    • 23-10(c-11) This is vague and grants unfettered authority to the Director.  Reasonable people attempting to comply with 108 may be impacted with an unknown and undocumented process. We believe this will be litigated relatively soon after enforcement.
    • 23-11(d-6) This is vague and grants unfettered authority to the Director.  Reasonable people attempting to comply with 108 may be impacted with an unknown process. We believe this will be litigated relatively soon after enforcement.
    • 23-16(g-1) This is vague and leaves open the possibility for selective enforcement.  Will the Planning Director determine that a reasonable person attempting to comply with 108 may be denied because the Director feels there are too many STR’s in the neighborhood, or that they will be denied because no other STR’s operate in the area?  Is it fair that the rights and privileges of one owner complying with the law may be lost due to the actions of another owner in the area?
    • 23-19(d) With regards to Rule 9, this document could not be found on the Planning Department website or their Laserfiche archive, so neither we nor the public can know what this means.


And if you haven't already, please read my other blogs and LinkedIn reports related to the Bill 108 .





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Note about the Author:
Lance Owens (RS) has been a Realtor in West Hawaii for 15 years, and
2019 Hawaii State (HAR) Director
2019 Hawaii Island (WHAR) Director
2019 RPAC Trustee 
2018 President West Hawaii Association of Realtors. 
2018 Hawaii State (HAR) Executive Director
2017 President Elect West Hawaii Association of Realtors
2016 BOD West Hawaii Association of Realtors
2016 - Current : MLS Special Committee Chair
2004 - Current: Member West Hawaii Association of Realtors 

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Aloha, and have a great day 

Lance Owens (RS)

(808) 936-8383



LUVA Real Estate 

75-240 Nani Kailua Dr #8 , Kailua Kona, HI. 96740 (Pines Plaza


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