Hawaii city approves ban on short-term vacation rentals outside resort areas

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The Honolulu City Council voted Wednesday to approve a bill that would ban any short-term vacation rentals outside of resort areas.

Bill 41 passed with a vote of 8 to 1 and now goes to Mayor Rick Blangiardi's desk, according to Hawaii News Now. 

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The outlet said the measure would ban any rentals in residential areas for fewer than 90 days and that the current minimum stay for short-term rentals is set at 30 days. 

Short-term rentals would be OK in resort-zoned areas and nearby locations in Waikiki and Turtle Bay. 

The entire coastline of Honolulu, Hawaii (iStock / iStock)

The bill was amended in March to prohibit on-street parking for guests in vacation rentals in communities zoned as rural, residential or apartment use.

According to Hawai'i Public Radio, the legislation was introduced by the mayor's administration in order to increase the enforcement of illegal operators in tourist hotspots. 

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"We live here, we work here, and we want to play here. And we don't want to feel subordinated that we've wholesaled Hawaiʻi for the retail business where a bunch of people don't even put money into local bank accounts," Blangiardi said, according to the network.

Rental companies, including Airbnb, have urged officials to honor an agreement that allows for a lottery to win vacation rental permits in some residential areas.

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Omni Hotels & Resorts President Peter Strebel acknowledges prices for accommodations are ‘a little on the high side’ caused by supply and demand and an inflationary environment. 

The debate has been divided, with some saying rentals have taken housing opportunities from locals and others who believe that vacationers who rent for 30 days are contributing to the community.

Earlier this month, Honolulu officials banned commercial activity on some popular Oahu beaches, banning people from operating most businesses at city beach parks from Waimanalo to Makapuu.

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A similar ban was implemented by the city council in neighboring Kailua in 2011. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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