The Honolulu City Council passed a controversial bill prohibiting 30-day rentals in most of the island. Short-term rentals would be restricted to some resort areas including Koolina, Kuilima, Makaha, and parts of Waikiki.
The bill was approved by a vote of 8-1. The plan was opposed by only one council member, Andria Tupola.
The new restrictions, introduced at the request of Mayor Rick Blangiardi, increase the minimum length of stay to three months.
The main exception is that in some residential areas near resorts, B&Bs or rooms are allowed to be rented for short periods of time if someone lives in the property long-term.
The bill is expected to raise registration fees for authorized vacation rentals and prohibit on-street parking in rural, residential, and apartment-use zones.
Since Hawaii began welcoming back out-of-state visitors, one of the biggest challenges islanders has been vehicle traffic and parking congestion.
Despite predictions of rising airline rates, experts say the conflict in Ukraine may actually drive more people to Hawaii.
Travelers are canceling trips to Europe because to uncertainty about the future.
“The war is now accelerating, you don’t know what is going to happen next,” said Jerry Agrusa, University of Hawaii travel professor.
“We really haven’t seen a drop at all. In fact, we had some of our best numbers this past weekend, almost rivaling what we got in 2019,” said Mufi Hannemann, the President and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association.
Meanwhile, locals remain divided over the value of allowing short-term rentals.
“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.