We Love the “I Love Kailua” Town Party!

Town Party 2015

Lots of “love” at the Keep it Kailua booth today! We were ecstatic to see the overwhelming number of Kailua residents who support our efforts and are “outraged” over the City Council proposals to permit additional B&B hotels and vacation rentals in residential zoning. Thank you Kailua!

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Why Ikaika?

1325 BB in Kailua jpg

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Illegal Rentals Contribute to Housing Crisis

New State Study by DBEDT Declares Vacation Rentals Contributing to Housing Shortage!

DBEDT report

Oahu is facing a 26,000 home shortage between 2015 and 2025 and the conversion of residential homes into vacation rentals has contributed to the problem according to Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

Kailua residents have been saying for years that short-term rentals (B&B hotels and vacation rentals) are displacing our neighbors from our community and driving up long-term rental rates. The 36 page study stated “Another important driver of housing demand is the increase in the number of residential rental units being used as vacation rentals”.

Council member Ikaika Anderson is proposing to allow both vacation rentals and B&B hotels to proliferate in residential zoning. His Resolution 15-72 (Allows B&B hotels to be conforming in residential zoning) would allow 3975 hotel rooms in residential neighborhoods. 1325 of the rooms could be in located in Kailua. That would be the same as having the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, The Kahala Resort and the Turtle Bay Resort being located in Kailua.

Resolution 15-86 (allows vacation rentals to be conforming in residential zoning) has not determine how many hotels rooms will be allowed in residential zoning, but most predict it would double the number of hotel rooms in residential zoning. Clearly, Oahu can not afford to be losing any residential houses, apartments, cottages or rooms to any short-term rental proposals.

LINK TO REPORT: http://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/reports/2015-05-housing-demand.pdf

 

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Please OPPOSE Resolutions 15-72 & 15-86

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.

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.

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!

For more information and the latest developments; Please like us on Facebook – Keep it Kailua

 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.

Neighbors Matter!

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 City. 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?

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ALERT: NEW RESOLUTION TO LEGALIZE VACATION RENTALS IN NEIGHBORHOODS!

As we expected, Ikaika Anderson has included a new resolution 15-86 to be heard at his City Council Zoning committee meeting on Thursday April 2 that will allow vacation rentals (TVU’s) to proliferate in residential neighborhoods. Vacation rentals have no owners on site and can be owned by investors and speculators. In addition to resolution 15-86, resolution 15-72 that will allow thousands of B&B hotel rooms in residential neighborhoods,Vacation_Rentals_In_Hawaii_Image will also be heard at the committee meeting.

Resolution 15-86: http://www4.honolulu.gov/…/D…/dspage08733866147535967792.pdf

Resolution 15-72: http://www4.honolulu.gov/…/D…/dspage07715327809893714702.pdf

Please OPPOSE both resolutions by attending the meeting on April 2 at 9AM and submitting testimony at

http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html

(Please submit separate opposition for Resolutions 15-72 & 15-86)

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Anderson’s Proposed Short-Term Rental Law Is A Sham!

Enforcement Regulations Don’t Apply To Illegal Vacation Rentals (TVU)

ikaika-anderson

Council Member Ikaika Andersons’s resolution 15-72 regulations do not apply to illegal vacation rentals (TVU’s) as Anderson has implied on his official Facebook page. In fact, the words TVU or vacation rentals are never even mentioned in the 15 page document. Anderson claims he is proposing a so called “balanced” approach by permitting illegal B&B hotels and improving enforcement regulations against illegal short-term rentals.

On Anderson’s Facebook page, Anderson stated; “My resolution will crack down on the current illegals- all illegals, B&Bs & TVUs alike- while allowing a permitting mechanism for a limited # of owner-occupied B&Bs. There’s room to do both at the same time.”

After our legal advisers evaluated the resolution, its clear Anderson’s resolution only applies to B&B hotels in requiring a permit number be included on all of their advertisements (a key requirement in helping shut down illegal operations)! In addition, Anderson proposed fine structure and other ineffective regulations will also only apply to B&B hotels, not TVU’s.

It’s estimated that Anderson’s bill will allow 2000 B&B hotels and 6000 B&B hotels rooms in Oahu residential-zone neighborhoods. According to the proposal, Kailua could have approximate 2000 B&B hotel rooms. That would be the same as putting the Royal Hawaiian, the Moana Hotel, the Kahala Resort, the Turtle Bay Resort and Ko Olina Hotel in Kailua (soon to be named KAIKIKI)!

B&B hotels and vacation rentals reduce our residential housing supply and raise housing costs for all residents. Kailua is a residential community, but the proposed astronomical increase in the number of B&B hotels will change the residential character of our neighborhoods and community by displacing our neighbors with a revolving door of vacationers.

It’s now becoming apparent; Anderson has no desire to shut down any illegal short-term rentals. In addition, Anderson’s law will most likely reward every illegal B&B hotel with a permit, so there will be no need for enforcement regarding B&B hotels.

Clearly, Anderson is intently trying to mislead the residents of Oahu. Does Anderson really believe residents are that stupid?

Please submit testimony to clerks@honolulu.gov and state you OPPOSE resolution 15-72.

Propose Resolution 15-72; http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-162832/dspage07715327809893714702.pdf

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Why the Kailua Neighborhood Board Opposes B&B Hotels

A recent vote drew national attention to a rare Hawaii effort opposing tourism business. But board members only want the law enforced.

·By CHARLES A. PRENTISS

The Kailua Neighborhood Board passed a resolution on March 5 opposing any new permits for short-term tourist rentals in residential neighborhoods. The vote continued a line of action that the board has been engaged in since September 2013, when it formally requested that the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) stop promoting Kailua neighborhoods for visitor accommodations through its marketing materials.

Why? The Kailua Board has consistently argued for the protection of its residential-zoned areas and for increased zoning enforcement. All of Kailua’s neighborhoods are zoned residential, not resort. Resort zoning is provided elsewhere on the island, and communities like Kailua are recognized as areas to provide housing solely for local residents.

Visitor lodging businesses — hotels, motels, transient vacation rentals, and bed & breakfast lodges — are not permitted in residential-only zoning. While there are 65 transient vacation units (TVU’s) and B&Bs in Kailua that are grandfathered in with “non-conforming use” certificates that enable them to operate legally, more than 85 percent of the estimated 500 TVU’s and B&B’s in Kailua are illegal.

Kailua on Oahu

Kailua’s neighborhoods are zoned residential. Unless a bed & breakfast or vacation unit holds a “non-conforming use certificate,” it is operating illegally in Kailua.

Prior to the neighborhood board resolution, the HTA marketing materials made no reference to the fact that the vast majority of TVU’s and B&Bs in Kailua are illegal. More importantly, those materials did not inform vacationers on how to know if their accommodations were legitimate or not.

In addition, the Kailua Neighborhood Board explained to HTA that short-term rentals reduce the rental housing supply for local residents, contribute to escalating rents and housing prices, promote crime and negatively impact safety as well as the social, environmental and cultural residential character of Kailua’s neighborhoods.

Shortly after our vote, an Associated Press article picked up by many mainland news outlets drew broader attention to the resolution. Many outlets ran misleading headlines, such as, “Hawaii Town to State: Stop sending tourists here” and “Kailua Residents Want Tourists to Stay Away.” As expected, the media wants to attract readers and sell ads, so they feel compelled to use sensational, over-the-top headlines. The truth is the Kailua Neighborhood Board never said daytime visitors aren’t welcome. The resolution simply asked the HTA to stop promoting illegal visitor lodging businesses in Kailua’s residential zoned neighborhoods.

Who is to blame? Certainly HTA and their marketing experts are responsible for their blunder. They have always been aware that the vast majority of Kailua’s TVU’s and B&Bs are illegal and that the community opposes them, but they did nothing to inform visitors to stay away from these scofflaw businesses. After the resolution was introduced, HTA should have explained to the media that the resolution represented the community’s objection to the promotion of illegal visitor accommodations in residential-only zoning and informed visitors on how to determine whether their accommodations are legitimate. Instead, HTA ignored the issue of the illegal businesses and said they want to “bring balance” to the Kailua community.

Politicians and city officials should also be held responsible for not publicly explaining the intent of the resolution and emphasizing the fact that all visitor-lodging businesses are non-conforming in residential zoning. They could have easily defused the issue by sympathizing with the neighborhood board’s desire to have zoning laws enforced and assisting HTA in educating visitors on legal lodging choices.

But ultimately, the majority of the blame should be directed at the owners of the illegal TVU’s and B&Bs. These individuals and businesses are breaking the law. It’s time for greater enforcement against these illegal activities so that residents have the enjoyment of their neighborhoods that they deserve.

About the Author

CONTRIBUTOR

Charles A. Prentiss

Charles A. Prentiss is chair of the Kailua Neighborhood Board. He is a retired planner for the City & County of Honolulu and a former executive secretary of the Honolulu Planning Commission.
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KITV Reports how Short-Term Rentals are Ruining our Neighborhoods

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http://www.kitv.com/news/Honolulu-City-Council-looks-to-eliminate-illegal-vacation-rentals/31771096

HONOLULU —A bill that looks to eliminate illegal short term vacation rentals from Oahu gained a preliminary approval from the Honolulu City Council Wednesday.  Residents in Lanikai have long complained about noise and safety concerns due to the rentals.

“They’re not real neighbors. There are people coming and going you don’t know who they are and they displace real neighbors. They might be people you car pool with, might be someone who looks out for you or who you look out for. There’s these strangers coming in and out instead of that,” said Lanikai resident Lisa Marten.

Bill 22 in the city council would step up enforcement power by the Department of Planning and Permitting.  The department currently has many hurdles to pass in order to identify and eliminate illegal rentals.  Some believe the bill goes too far.

“Bill 22 comes at it from only one angle enforcement. There is no ability to provide for owner occupied bed and breakfasts,” said councilmember Ikaika Anderson.

Anderson proposes that along with increased enforcement, new bed and breakfast units should be approved.  He said the language of the bill will greatly reduce the illegal rental problem.

“There must be certification that the owner’s primary residence is on the same tax map key parcel as the bed and breakfast proposed,” reads Resolution 15-72.

Anderson said he’ll hold Bill 22 in committee until his resolution makes it through the council.

The resolution will be heard by zoning and planning committee April 2.

Along with efforts by the city and county of Honolulu, the state is also looking to regulate the rental business through House Bill 825.

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Star Advertiser Series on Illegal Vacation Rentals

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Weekly rental

A Honolulu Star Advertiser series on illegal vacation rentals by Allison Schaefers has validated Keep it Kailua’s Position that illegal lodging businesses in residential-zoning are a significant problem that are harming Hawaii’s neighbors, neighborhoods and residential communities. Below are PDF files of all the articles.

 

Star-Advertiser 12-29-14 Vacation Rentals Hurts Housing Supply

Star-Advertiser 12-28-14 Illegal Rentals Skirt Law

Star Advertiser 12-28-14 Illegal rentals Inspection Process is Broken

Star-Advertise 12-30-14 Vacation Rentals – Revolving door Strangers

Star-Advertiser 12-30-14 Vacation Rentals Statewide Problem

Star-Advertiser 12-29-14 Vacation Rental Cons Rip off Visitors

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Will the Chinese be buying investment homes in Kailua…?

Chinese Spending Washington State

The next major wave of foreign investors buying US real estate appears to be coming from China. A recent AP article brought to light the fact that wealthy Chinese homebuyers have poured into the U.S., spending $22 billion on property in the states, tops among all foreign purchasers over the 12 months preceding a March study from the National Association of Realtors. That was up from $12.8 billion the previous year, when Chinese buyers also took the No. 1 spot.

According to a 2012 Hawaii Business Magazine article, Hawaii Realtor Patricia Choi (ranked as the #1 Broker on Oahu by the magazine for 4 years) believes there is so much potential in the China market and she’s focusing more and more attention on China. She stated in the article; “I’ll be leaving on a flight to China next week”. And “This is my third year in a row that I’m going to China.”

Will some Chinese bought 2nd home investments become “illegal” vacation rentals? It’s appears to be likely. Many of the neighbors who live near illegal Kailua vacation rentals deem the majority of illegal businesses are owned by out-of-state speculators who often claim they are unaware of the zoning ordinances that regulate vacation rentals on Oahu.

AP Article:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Chinas-wealth-finds-a-home-sweet-home-in-Wash-state-286356241.html

Hawaii Business Magazine Article:

http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/hawaiis-new-foreign-real-estate-buyers/

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