Please Protect Kailua’s Neighborhoods!
City Council proposes to legalize Vacation Rentals & B&B Hotels in Residential-Zoning
Zoning Committee Hearing on Thursday April 2nd @ 9am
The “illegal” vacation rental industry has swayed Zoning Committee Chair Ikaika Anderson to hear two new resolutions that will allow B&B hotels and Vacation Rentals to proliferate in all Oahu residential neighborhoods.
Resolution 15-72 (permits B&B hotels) and Resolution 15-86 (permits vacation rentals/TVU) will allow thousands of hotel-like rooms to legally operate in Kailua’s residential neighborhoods.
It’s Spot-Zoning at its Worst
Currently B&B hotels and vacation rentals are non-conforming in residential zoning and can only operate with a non-conforming use certificates. But both resolutions will make visitor-lodging businesses “conforming” in residential zoning. Furthermore, both resolutions do not allow neighbors or community members to submit input during the permit process and neighbors will only be notified after a TVU/B&B hotel permit has been issued. There are also no distance-separations between lodging business, so many neighborhoods will be overwhelmed by them and will become de-facto mini-resorts. Large hotel chains could even manage the properties!
A Very Slippery Slope for our Community
Anderson has claimed he will “limit” the number lodging businesses in residential zoning, but this is impossible. By law, no City Council can ever bind another council’s legislature. In other words, any so-called “limits” can be changed at any time by any council. Once you start permitting, it becomes a slippery slope. These lodging businesses will cement Kailua’s future as a tourist town and change the local residential-character of the community forever. Our community is already facing traffic nightmares, increasing housing-costs and other social-ills. Becoming the Windward Waikiki will only worsen our problems!
Just Say No!
Legalizing vacation rentals and B&B hotels in residential zoning will not solve the core-problems these businesses create in our neighbors and our communities. The core problems with these businesses in residential zoning are they reduce our housing-supply and therefore raise housing-costs. And they negatively change the residential character of our neighborhoods by displacing our neighbors with a revolving door of vacationers.
We Need Homes for Residents, Not Mini-Hotels for Tourists
Every home, studio, cottage or room that is used as a visitor lodging business is one less home for Oahu’s residents. Oahu is facing a housing-supply crisis that most experts believe is contributing to our worsening homelessness problem. Our residential communities need more long-term rentals. Legalizing short-term rentals takes away the opportunity for these properties to house local residents. The City Administration has stated Oahu needs an additional 24,000 homes by 2016 in order to shelter Oahu’s residents. It’s truly nonsensical to be reducing the number of homes for residents in order to give tourist a so-called “alternative” experience.
Most Neighbors oppose living next to or near visitor lodging businesses because they displace neighbors from our neighborhood and change the residential character of the neighborhood and the community. Short-term tenants have little interest in public agencies or in the welfare of the citizenry. They do not participate in neighborhood watch programs, coach paddling, or join the hospital guild. They do not lead a scout troop, volunteer at the library, or keep an eye on an elderly neighbor. Literally they are here today and gone tomorrow–without engaging in the sort of activities that weld and strengthen a community.
Anderson’s Proposed Enforcement Measures Unproven
Ikaika Anderson claims his resolution will “some-how” improve enforcement of illegal short-term rentals. We don’t believe it! His resolutions are filled with loopholes and bureaucratic red-tape. In fact, a neighbor cannot even file a complaint with the City unless they first obtain a police report. This is a waste of Police resources. Furthermore, Anderson is refusing to hear the DPP’s Bill 22 that was unanimously passed by the Planning Commission and according to the DPP’s Director will improve the City’s ability to enforce zoning laws against illegal short-term rentals. We support Bill 22 and believe it should be implemented and “proven” before any discussions of allowing more visitor-lodging businesses in Kailua.
Resolutions Reward Illegal Operators
Both resolutions will reward illegal operators with lucrative permits who have been knowingly breaking the law. There are no restrictions to who can apply for a permit, including proven violators who have received violations from the Cty. The illegal short-term rental owners will be first in line to receive permits since they already have established their “illegal” businesses. Based upon the proposed number of permits to be granted for both B&B hotels and vacation rental, most industry insiders predict every illegal operator will be issued a permit despite thousands of complaints by neighbors. Apparently crime does pay!
Zoning should Regulate Land-uses
Clearly, vacation rentals and B&B hotels are lodging businesses that serve the same business purpose as hotels, motels, lodges and Inns. Our zoning laws regulate and separate land-uses in order to protect the delicate distribution of land-uses and avoid land-use conflicts between neighboring properties. Resolutions 15-72 and 15-86 turn residential zoning laws up-side down! Many in our community do not want to live next to mini-hotels. They selected residential zoning for their homes and believe they have the right to live in a neighborhood with neighbors and not a revolving door of tourists. Anderson claims he just “cannot” figure out the difference between renting short-term (less than 30 days) and long-term (more than 30 days). But we can! It basically comes down to the purpose of the tenancy. Short-term stays, also called transient-stays are lodging activities. Visitors are only staying in accommodations for a short-period of time and are not utilizing the lodging as their permanent residence. In contrast, long-term rentals provide residents a home where they reside permanently and contribute to the wellbeing of the neighborhood and the community. This is not rocket-science! Maybe Anderson just does not want to know the difference?
Please OPPOSE Resolutions 15-72 & 15-86
Please OPPOSE both resolutions 15-72 & 15-86 by submitting your testimony at: http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html?view=form
Be sure to click zoning committee, list both resolutions 15-72 & 15-86 in the Agenda box and click OPPOSE.
Please pass on this email to other Oahu Residents.
Stand Up and Be Heard!
The Zoning Committee meeting will be on Thursday, April 2nd at 9 AM at Honolulu Hale in the Committee meeting room. Please attend and testify! We know the illegal vacation rental owners will be there since they have an obvious financial interest in the resolutions. We need Kailua’s residents to tell Anderson and other Council members we oppose these ill-conceived resolutions!
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