Hawai'i County short term vacation rental ordinance

Hawai'i County recently adopted Ordinance 18 114, also known as “Bill 108,” which regulates all vacation rentals on the Big Island of Hawai'i.

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SECTION 1. Findings and Purpose.
The short-term rental of residential units, as an alternative to traditional resort and hotel accommodations, is an emerging trend in the visitor industry that continues to grow in popularity.
The purpose of this ordinance is to manage the impacts of these short-term vacation rentals by:
    1. Defining where this use will be allowed;
    2. Establishing provisions and standards to regulate this use; and
    3. Providing an avenue for an existing use deemed to be improper by this ordinance, to apply for a nonconforming use certificate that would allow them to continue to operate in a non-permitted district.
SECTION 2. Chapter 25, article 4, division 1, of the Hawai'i County Code 1983 (2016 Edition, as amended), is amended by adding the following new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

Section 25-4 Short-term vacation rentals .
    1. Short-term vacation rentals; where permitted, specific prohibitions.
      1. Short-term vacation rentals shall be permitted in the: Residential and commercial zoning districts situated in the General Plan Resort and Resort Node areas; and RM district, for multiple family dwellings within a condominium property regime.
      2. Private covenants prohibiting use of any unit as a short-term vacation rental shall not be invalidated by this chapter.
    2. Registration of all short-term vacation rentals.
      1. Short-term vacation rentals in existence on or before the effective date of this ordinance shall register with the director and pay a one-time fee of $500. The registration form and associated fee shall be submitted to the planning department no later than September 28, 2019.
      2. Any new short-term vacation rental established in a zoning district after April 1, 2019, where such use is permissible pursuant to this section, shall register with the director and pay a one-time fee of $500 prior to use of such rental. (This means that there will be no new vacation rentals allowed to legally operate or register if the house or condo is outside of the commercial and resort zones.)
      3. Short-term vacation rentals shall only be established within a dwelling that has been issued final approvals by the building division for building, electrical, and plumbing permits.
      4. Owners of short-term vacation rentals shall register by submitting a form to the planning department in a format prescribed by the director.
      5. Owners of short-term vacation rentals shall notify the director when a short-term vacation rental establishment permanently ceases to operate for any reason.
      6. Upon change in ownership, the new owner shall notify the director forthwith of the change in ownership and provide contact information for the reachable person. Registration shall automatically continue, subject to termination by the new owner.
      7. Any short-term vacation rental that has not lawfully registered within the deadlines set forth in this section shall be considered an unpermitted use and subject to the penalties set forth in this chapter until such time as proper registration and compliance with applicable requirements of this section are obtained.
    3. Standards: All short-term vacation rentals shall be subject to the following standards:
      1. The owner or reachable person shall reside in the County of Hawai'i and shall be reachable by guests, neighbors, and County agencies on a twenty­-four hour, seven days-per-week basis. The owner shall notify the planning department of any changes to their contact information forthwith.
      2. Good neighbor policy. The owner or reachable person shall be responsible to ensure that activities taking place within the short-term vacation rental conform to the character of the existing neighborhood in which the rental is located. At a minimum. the following shall be prominently displayed within the dwelling unit and recited in the rental agreement signed by the tenant:
        1. Quiet hours shall be from 9:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.• during which time
          the noise from the short-term vacation rental shall not unreasonably disturb adjacent neighbors.

        2. Sound that is audible beyond the property boundaries during non-quiet hours shall not be more excessive than would be otherwise associated with a residential area.
        3. Guest vehicles shall be parked in the designated onsite parking area.
        4. All print and internet advertising of short-term vacation rentals. including
          listings with a rental service or real estate firm. shall include the registration or nonconforming use certificate number.

        5. A copy of the registration as well as the reachable person's name and phone number, shall be displayed on the back of the front door of the sleeping quarters.
      3. Off-street parking shall meet the requirements set forth in section 25-4-51 and applicable parking standards in this chapter.
    4. Complaints and public information. The director shall:
      1. Receive and track complaints regarding short-term vacation rentals;
      2. Provide information about rules. policies. and procedures pertaining to short­ term vacation rentals to property owners. managers. neighbors. and the general public; and
      3. Maintain a list of all short-term vacation rentals that have registered or received a nonconforming use certificate.