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Honolulu measure further restricting vacation rentals passes second vote

Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources

The Honolulu City Council advanced a controversial bill on Wednesday to further restrict illegal short-term vacation rentals.

Bill 41 would raise the minimum stay requirement for short-term units to 90 days from the current 30.

It also further restricts where new short-term rentals can operate, and would raise fees significantly on certain types of units.

The measure passed a second reading on a 7-2 vote. One of the nays, Councilmember Andria Tupola, says there are too many uncertainties to advance it.

"I can’t support this version of the bill, and didn’t support it when it initially came out because of the pages and pages of confusion," she said. "I think the lack of engagement, the need for current enforcement now, consistency and uniformity, the jump in fees, the lack of consideration of how to protect legal residents – these are some of my concerns, chair."

The council passed a bill in 2019 to crack down on illegal short-term rentals. It included enforcement measures and fines for owners of illegal units.

Opponents of the current bill say the city has not enforced the law, and should do so before pushing another one.

Bill 41 heads back to the Zoning and Planning Committee for a third hearing. If approved, it would return to the full council for a final vote.

Want to submit testimony about any city council measures? Click here.

Scott Kim was a news editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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