Well, I had thought we were finished three weeks ago when the county council signed Bill 2204 limiting Transient vacation rentals on our Garden Island. As i have blogged before, many emotional protesters have claimed that vacation rentals, particularly in north shore communities, are responsibile for destroying our local communites and raising the prices of Kauai real estate. I heard that our Mayor, Brian Baptiste, would be signed this bill into law on March 1st.
Well, yesterday, the County Council reconsidered and approved the legislation for its third time in three weeks. The final vote on the compromise bill was 5-1, with some lawmakers voicing reservations, councilman Tim Bynum dissenting and councilman Ron Kouchi’s absence excused. Apparen tly some of the council members fear the county will be fraught with suits and legal encounters once the bill is finalized.
You can read Nathan Eagle's detailed commentary about the ongoing concerns and political nuances in today's Garden Island Newspaper .
The key point for this final discussion centered around vacation rentals on ag land. Most of the rural properties around kilauea, hanalei, haena, kapaa, wailua, kalaheo, and most towns on our island are zoned agricultural or ag. This perhaps final version of the bill inserted some language stating there would be no grandfathering of existing vacation rentals on ag land unless the owner had obtained a non conforming use. State law prohibits operating a vacation rental on ag land and that brings up a whole other can of worms in terms of legitimate uses of ag land according to the real nature of the zoning.
Apparently the planning department is going to be responsible for enforcement of this law when it passes and unless they get some more budget for new employees, i really don't know how the enforcement is going to be handled.
The issue certainly continues to have a lot of folks up in arms.
Ron Margolis, RA, CDPE, ABR Hawaii Life Real Estate Services 808.346.7095 email: email@example.com