On Top of the Aloha Beat BLOG


One More Time for Kauai's Vacation Rental Drama

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: ron@hawaiilife.com

Comment balloon 3 commentsRonnie Margolis • February 21 2008 09:58AM


Ronnie, I am not very familiar with your area (although I did live in Pearl City for 18 months as a kid, my dad was in the Navy).  Our whole economy on the Outer Banks of NC is based on weekly rentals, although it used to be fishing.  Where do these people who are against "transient" rentals work?  Are there still enough ag jobs to keep everyone employed?
Posted by Cindy Glatkowski, Rental Manager, ResortQuest Outer Banks (ResortQuest Outer Banks) over 12 years ago
It's a small percentage of people who have made a lot of noise about the transient rental issue There are not at this time enough ag jobs? Perhaps as sustainability becomes more real, there will be more ag jobs. But for now, sugar and pineapple, the island's leading industries a generation or two ago are virtually gone. Only Gay and Robinson on the South side produce sugar and G&R are looking at producing alternative energy as their business of the future. At this point, restricting rentals and such is not going to make the real estate prices better. everything in real estate is supply and demand. Our prices went up because of demand. At our elevated prices, many local families have had to do transient rentals to keep up with their taxes. So this ordinance will be effecting lots of local families too, not just mainland folks who have purchased second homes here.
Posted by Ronnie Margolis, Kauai Realtor - CDPE, ABR, RA - On Top of the Aloh (KW Kauai) over 12 years ago

We own rental condo's in Ko Olina, an area designated HOTEL/RESORT. So our property taxes are about 5x-6x as much as if they were a residence. The properties that receive approval to operate as a bed and breakfast or as a rental property should have some increase in property taxes which would then cover the expenses of the additional enforcement staff. This would also make things more even.

or they should just lower all of our property taxes but then where would the funding come from?



Posted by Alfred Harding (Beach Villa Resort) over 11 years ago