If you only do one thing this week please take a minute to submit testimony to the State House about House Bill 84.
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- The State House of Representatives has proposed a bill that would allow Hawaii County to retroactively eliminate non-conforming uses and effectively shut down the entire vacation rental industry.
- Hawaii County has yet to respond to our $10,000 offer to fund a study of the effects of hosted rentals on the local housing market. We are going to expire the offer after another week.
- Heather Kimball and Ashley Kierkiewicz have been promising a new draft of the Hawaii County bill since early January, but as of this writing no draft has become available. We will let you know when a revised draft is available.
- I’ve been asked to do several interviews over the past couple of months including one with Think Tech Hawaii that might be worth a look. Hopefully I’m carrying our message in an honest and accessible way.
- Petition Soft Launch - We’ve soft launched a petition. Once we get 500 signatures we'll promote it more broadly. Please sign up early to help us build momentum.
House Bill 84 - Giving Hawaii County More Power
Today we are protected by State and Federal law that restricts Hawaii County’s ability to shut down our businesses, but HB 84 changes that. This bill would grant counties the power to retroactively revoke non-conforming use certificates to make vacation rentals illegal.
If anyone doubts that there is a consistency that wants us fully shut down and doesn’t care at all about our ability to make a living then you haven’t been paying attention.
The last thing we need is a county with more power. I’m headed to Oahu to testify in person, but I’d like to urge you to please submit testimony in opposition to changes that give Hawaii County more power over us.
Studying the Effects of Hosted Vacation Rentals
In 2018 Hawaii County passed regulations that banned new un-hosted short term rentals, regulated existing short term rentals and created a new bureaucracy for managing the industry. The justification for this effort? Affordable housing.
Five years later the county is proposing new regulations, fees and bureaucratic roadblocks for the industry under the same justification. Affordable Housing.
But what were the effects of the first effort? Is there more housing now than there was then? What have been the impacts on families who depend on rental income? Has their housing situation improved?
To answer these questions we offered to match Hawaii County $10,000 to conduct an independent study of the effects of the 2018 law and the potential impacts of the new legislation.
To date we have not received a response. This raises the question: What is the county afraid of? If our industry truly is the cause of the affordable housing crisis ( it isn’t ) and does not’ benefit local families ( it does ) then why not conduct an independent study to confirm that hypothesis before launching into an onerous, divisive and expensive legislative process?
This week I’ll put an expiration date on the offer and, if they refuse to conduct a study, we’ll be sure to bring that up as the bill moves through the County Counsel and mayor’s office.
New Draft Hawaii County Bill
The draft of the Hawaii County bill provided November 20 had a significant number of problems.
In addition to many of the issues we’ve brought up here it was clearly in violation of recent court decisions at both the State and Federal level.
Over the past two months we’ve been working hard to provide positive feedback on the bill and have been promised a new draft that solves many of the problems we’ve brought forward. So where is it? We’ve been promised a draft numerous times and it has failed to appear, but when it does we’ll be sure to give you a complete rundown of its impacts on our community.
Petition Soft Launch
We’re circulating a petition to send to Hawaii County regarding the proposed county legislation, please consider signing on and having your service providers sign on as well. There are thousands of us who depend on vacation rental income to make ends meet. Lets be sure to let Hawaii County know that.
We're aiming for 500 signatures before we broadly promote it. Please sign on today.