Hawaii Short Term Vacation Rental Registration Update

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The Short Term Vacation Rental issue is still winding its way to final completion and on the day it was set to go into effect, April 1, 2019, the county was still working to create the final rules. LUVA Real Estate agents have attended recent meetings on this issue, so we are up to date with the latest information for potential investors and also for our homeowner clients.

Not sure what the new ordinance is or why the County decided to curtail the proliferation of short term rentals on Hawaii Island? The West Hawaii Association of Realtors put together a quick guide to the issue.

The latest aspect of the ordinance is the drafting of Rule 23, which is was still getting a few tweaks as of last week. The Planning Department, which has been tasked with administering the provisions of Bill 108, has prepared a draft of its proposed Rule 23, to be incorporated into the Planning Department’s Rules of Practice and Procedure. The most current draft of the rule indicates that rather than being grandfathered in, existing short term rentals (STVR) within properties outside of a resort-zoned areas on the Big Island and whose property is unhosted will have to both register their STVR AND seek approval by way of a Non-Confirming Use Certificate (NUC).

Zoning Eligibility

Permitted Zoning Districts refer to resort-zoned areas of the island. We discussed the basis of the zoning laws in a previous post about the ordinance, but here are a few details:

Short-term vacation rentals within resort-zoned areas

A dwelling may be used as a STVR upon obtaining a STVR registration in the Permitted Zoning Districts.

Properties outside of the permitted zoning districts, or resort-zoned areas of the island

Pre-existing STVRs outside of the Permitted Zoning Districts may continue to operate as STVRs by registering the STVR and obtaining a Nonconforming Use Certificate (NUC). If you decide to purchase a new home and utilize it as a vacation rental inside the permitted zoning districts (resort areas), you cannot operate the rental until you apply for and obtain a non-conforming use certificate. As of April 1, 2019, you can not create a new vacation rental outside of resort-zoned areas.

Five Months or 180 Days To Become Compliant

All Short-Term Vacation Rentals must submit a completed Short-Term Vacation Rental Application and the associated fee to the Department no later than September 28, 2019, to legally operate in Hawai‘i County.

The Registration Process Is Not Yet Clear

The County is still working on creating the forms, the process and hiring staff to put the ordinance in place. If you have an existing vacation rental on the Big Island, whether it’s inside or outside of a resort-zoned area, you have to seek approval to be grandfathered as a vacation rental using the Non-Confirming Use Certificate, or you’ll need to register AND obtain a NUC.

For LUVA Vacation Rentals, we are working together with our owners and taking the necessary steps to get the homes in compliance with the County and welcome helping other vacation rental owners who need management to handle these changes and the marketing of the homes legally on the web. For more information, please contact us today and ask to speak with our vacation rental specialist.