IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL PROPERTY OWNERS IN HAWAII COUNTY THAT OPERATE SHORT TERM VACATION RENTALS

Below is a summary of information gathered from the Hawaii County website that outlines the new law & the rules and regulations that support it.  This post is intended to highlight the law & rule and is not all-inclusive.  Full information is available on the Hawaii County website.  All information is deemed reliable at the time of print but not guaranteed – please visit the links given below or contact Hawaii County for more information and further updates.

LAW & RULE

Bill 108, adopted by the Hawaii County Council in November 2018 as Ordinance 2018-114, regulates Short-Term Vacation Rentals (STVR) on Hawaii Island.  To view the full Ordinance 2018-114 CLICK HERE.  The purpose of the law:

  • Defines where the use will be allowed
  • Establishes provisions and standards to regulate this use
  • Provides an avenue for an existing STVR to apply for a Nonconforming Use Certificate that would allow continued operation outside of a permitted zoning district.

The Planning Department, which has been tasked with administering the provisions of Bill 108, has adopted Rule 23, which has been incorporated into the Planning Department’s Rules of Practice and Procedure. Rule 23 outlines the new practices and procedures necessary to implement the provisions set forth in Bill 108.  To view the full Rule 23 CLICK HERE.

ELIGIBILITY

Zoning Districts

  1. Permitted Zoning Districts
    • Short-term vacation rentals shall be permitted in
      • V, CG, and CV districts (CLICK HERE for further information on Hawaii County zoning districts)
      • Residential and commercial zoning districts, situated in the General Plan Resort and Resort Node areas (CLICK HERE for maps outlining the General Plan Resort & Resort Node areas)
      • RM district, for multiple family dwellings within a condominium property regime as defined and governed by chapters 514A or 514B, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
    • A dwelling may be used as a STVR upon obtaining a STVR registration in the Permitted Zoning Districts (see Registration section below). STVRs within Permitted Zoning Districts shall conform to the following requirements to continue or commence operations:
      • Pre-existing STVRs under this subsection must submit a STVR Registration form no later than September 28, 2019.
      • New STVRs under this subsection may obtain a STVR Registration at any time; however, the property may not be operated as a STVR until the STVR Registration has been issued.
      • Any STVR under this section that has not lawfully registered within the deadlines set forth herein shall be considered an unpermitted use and subject to the penalties set forth in HCC Chapter 25.
  2. Pre-Existing STVRs Outside of the Permitted Zoning Districts
    • May continue to operate as STVRs by registering the STVR and obtaining a Nonconforming Use Certificate (NUC) (See Registration section below). STVRs outside of the Permitted Zoning Districts shall conform to the following requirements to continue being operated as STVRs:
      • Pre-existing STVRs under this section shall submit a STVR Registration Form and a NUC Application no later than September 28, 2019.
      • No new STVR can obtain a Registration under this section.
      • Any STVR under this section that has not lawfully registered within the deadlines set forth herein shall be considered an unpermitted use and subject to the penalties set forth in HCC Chapter 25.
  3. Special Note for Agricultural Lands (Zone A)
    • In the state land use agricultural district, a short-term vacation rental nonconforming use certificate may only be issued for single-family dwellings on lots existing before June 4, 1976.

REGISTRATION

  1. Short-term vacation rentals in existence on or before the effective date of this ordinance shall register with the director and pay a one-time fee of $500. The registration form and associated fee shall be submitted to the planning department no later than one hundred eighty days after the effective date of this ordinance.
    • For properties outside the permitted zoning districts, a Nonconforming Use Certificate is also required for a fee of $250.  This certificate needs to be renewed annually at the same rate.
  2. Any new short-term vacation rental established in a permitted zoning district after the effective date of this ordinance, where such use is permissible pursuant to this section, shall register with the director and pay a one-time fee of $500 prior to use of such rental.

CLICK HERE to download the Short-Term Vacation Rental Application Packet.  The packet includes instructions for filing and necessary forms in a fillable PDF format.

For further details on the registration & decision process see Rule 23 section IV.

For further details on receiving & renewing a Nonconforming Use Certificate see 23-12 & 23-13 of Rule 23.  Please be sure to fully read these sections as the rules & guidelines are strict.

STANDARDS

All short-term vacation rentals shall be subject to the following standards:

  1. The owner or reachable person shall reside in the County of Hawaii and shall be reachable by guests, neighbors, and County agencies on a twenty-four hour, seven days/week basis. The owner shall notify the department within 5 days of any changes to contact information.
  2. The owner or reachable person shall be responsible to ensure that activities taking place within the STVR conform to the character of the existing neighborhood in which the rental is located.
  3. Display Requirement.  The following shall be prominently displayed within the dwelling unit and recited in the STVR rental agreement between the owner and person(s) renting the STVR:
    • Quiet hours shall be from 9: 00 p.m. to 8: 00 a.m., during which time the noise from the STVR shall not unreasonably disturb adjacent neighbors.
    • Sound that is audible beyond the property boundaries during non-quiet hours shall not be more excessive than would be otherwise associated with a residential area.
    • Guest vehicles shall be parked in the designated onsite parking area.
    • The STVR shall not be used for commercial purposes.
    • A copy of the STVR Registration, and the owner or reachable person’s name and phone number, shall be displayed on the back of the front door of all sleeping quarters.
    • Current NUC shall be displayed in a conspicuous place on the STVR’s premises that is readily visible to an inspector. In the event that a single address is associated with numerous NUCs, a listing of all units at that address holding current certificates may be displayed in a conspicuous, readily visible common area instead.
  4. All print and Internet advertising of STVRs, including listings with a rental service or real estate firm, shall include the registration or nonconforming use certificate number.
  5. Any property with a dwelling being used as a STVR shall be in compliance with all applicable laws, including but not limited to having obtained all necessary final permits and/or approvals from the County of Hawaii Department of Public Works-Building Division for all necessary building, electrical, and plumbing permits.
  6. All guest parking for STVRs shall be off-street and shall meet the requirements set forth in HCC Sections 25-4-50 through 25-4-54 and applicable parking standards in HCC Chapter 25. If there is any doubt as to the requirements for off-street parking for a STVR, the Director shall determine the required number of parking spaces.
  7. Any commercial signage that advertises a STVR shall comply with the requirements of HCC section 22-2.6 and HCC chapter 3 of this Code.
  8. Owners of STVRs shall notify the Director in writing within thirty (30) days when such use permanently ceases for any reason.
  9. Upon a change in ownership for a STVR, the new owner shall notify the Director in writing within thirty (30) days of the change in ownership.
  10. Failure to comply with any of the preceding standards, or any conditions provided with STVR Registration or a NUC shall constitute a violation of HCC Chapter 25.

ENFORCEMENT

  1. STVRs in violation of HCC Chapter 25, any rule adopted thereunder, or any permit or variance issued pursuant thereto, shall be subject to enforcement pursuant to HCC Section 25-2-35.
  2. The Director shall catalog any complaints on STVR properties relating to the violation of HCC Chapter 25, this Rule, or any permit issued therefrom.
  3. Unresolved violations shall be considered by the Director in approving or denying a STVR Registration, NUC, or NUC Renewal.
  4. Civil fines for violations of this Rule shall comply with HCC Section 25-2-35 and Planning Department Rules of Practice and Procedure Rule 9.
  5. Advertising of any sort that offers a property as a STVR shall constitute prima facie evidence that a STVR is operating on that property. The burden of proof shall be on the owner or operator to establish either that the property is not being used as a STVR or that it is being used for such purpose legally.