A Hawaii Vacation Controversy Is Brewing

For the most part, they are quiet, pleasant, residential neighborhoods. A lot of the homes are relatively large, with private pools, near the ocean. Does that sound like a better choice for your accommodations when you vacation in Hawaii? Do you like the idea of living in a no-frills private home with friendly owners better than staying at a large, full-service hotel with an impersonal staff?

Many vacationers do. The industry that encompasses Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) and Transient Vacation Units (TVUs) has thrived accordingly. But that industry is under fire. First, let’s clarify the subtle distinction between the two terms:

A Bed and Breakfast home is a detached dwelling (but not an apartment unit) where the owner or operator occupies the same dwelling as the transient occupants.

A Transient Vacation Unit is a dwelling or lodging unit where the operator or owner is absent from the premises at the time of rental.

Here’s what’s happening. Especially on Oahu, residential neighbors of B&Bs and TVUs have been complaining that the local influx of tourists is debasing their neighborhoods, introducing unwanted traffic, noise, litter and even damage to the solitude for which they paid dearly. TVUs – the ones with absentee owners — are the source of most of the complaints in residential neighborhoods.

In 1989, when the number of B&B’s and TVUs rose significantly and a deluge of neighborhood complaints could no longer be ignored, the City and County of Honolulu banned the operation of any new short-term rentals in residentially zoned districts. Meanwhile, the city “grandfathered” those that had been operating illegally — approximately 160 B&B’s and hundreds of TVUs — by issuing them Nonconforming Use Certificates (NUCs).

Now there are bills in the city council that would lift the ban on these facilities and allow widespread permitting into every Oahu Neighborhood. Resistance is h3. Proponents are powerful and committed. The economy has become a factor. It’s a very interesting battle.

If you are considering staying at a B&B on your Hawaii vacation, whatever results from the controversy will not affect you if you book with Hawaii-Aloha.Com. Your accommodations will be licensed and legal, and certainly comfortable. You have nothing to worry about. The only question is whether the inventory of accommodations will increase.

Posted by: Jamie Winpenny