City plans to increase enforcement of short-term vacation rentals Leave a Comment / Vacation / By admin Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! The city Department of Planning and Permitting plans to hire short-term vacation rental investigators following persistent complaints about property owners taking advantage of short-term rental regulations in residential zones. Council member Brandon Elefante, chair of the Committee on Zoning and Planning, which passed Bill 41 on third reading Wednesday, said DPP officials discussed plans to staff investigator positions in their budget presentation earlier this month. The new version of Bill 41 represents the city’s latest effort to respond to community concerns about short-term rentals in residential areas, especially Kailua. The bill could go to the full City Council as early as April 13. Bill 41 would extend the minimum stay for short-term rentals in rural or residential areas to 90 from 30 days. It would also ban tourists in those areas from parking on city streets and would require bed-and-breakfast owners to provide one off-street parking space for every bedroom. Kailua residents hope the proposed rules reduce transient renters in their neighborhood, keep them from cluttering residential streets with rental vehicles and open up long-term rentals that residents can afford. Olomana resident Suzette Cruz said she understands both sides of the issue. “Many of the people who buy property to rent don’t even live on the island anymore, so that’s why people feel the way they do,” Cruz said. But she also understands there are others who rely on vacation rental income to afford Hawaii’s high cost of living. If Bill 41 passes, Denver resident Maryann Zupoa said she would not feel comfortable reserving a rental property for 90 days. Zupoa’s family was renting a property near the beach on Kalaheo Avenue in Kailua last week. “I wasn’t too keen about the 30 days,” Zupoa said. “So 90 days, definitely not.” Despite their 30-day reservation, Zupoa and her family plan to stay only 10 days, she said. Residents worry the increasing number of short-term rental properties are contributing to bigger local issues such as the lack of affordable housing for working families. The lack of affordable housing has led to more multigenerational households, exacerbating the lack of parking on residential streets, said Gary Weller, a member of the Kailua Neighborhood Board. “Families, for their children, can’t find a home because the homes are too expensive,” Weller said. “This is increasing the parking problem already, without even the tourists being involved.” Weller doesn’t blame the situation on tourists in Kailua, who are simply enjoying their vacation, he said. But some residents have complained about vacationers partying through the night and parking on and in front of residents’ lawns. The increasing number of tourists in residential neighborhoods also changes the character of the community, according to Donna Wong, another member of the Kailua Neighborhood Board. “If a resident is there … they’ll shop at the farmers market, go to community meetings, become a part of the community,” Wong said. “If they’re transient … you don’t have a neighbor to call to say, ‘I’m going to be late. Can you bring the dog in?’ — which I do all the time.” Weller is optimistic Bill 41 will deter property owners from offering short-term rentals in residential communities. But enforcement depends on DPP, he and Wong agreed. “That’s definitely going to deter a lot of people from doing this, because it’s just not going to be worth it,” Weller said. “But as long as there’s no enforcement, it doesn’t matter what laws they pass.” DPP did not immediately respond to Honolulu Star-Advertiser requests for comment.