Find us on Facebook:  

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019 10:25 AM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    NOTICE OF A PUBLIC HEARING FOR RULE MAKING FOR THE PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF RULE 23 OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAll PLANNING DEPARTMENT RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN of public hearings for the proposed establishment of Rule 23 (Short-Term Vacation Rentals) of the Planning Department Rules of Practice and Procedure, which is initiated by the Planning Director, pursuant to Chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) and Planning Department Rule 2.

    DATE: Thursday, February 28, 2019

    TIME: 5:30 p.m.

    PLACE: County Council Chambers - Building A, West Hawaii Civic Center,

    74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 

    The proposed rule making to the County of Hawaii Planning Department's Rules of Practice and Procedure are to establish Rule 23, which establishes procedures for processing, regulating and managing the impacts of Short-Term Vacation Rentals. The purpose of the public hearings is to afford all interested persons a reasonable opportunity to provide comments on the proposed establishment of Rule 23. Written comments may be submitted in person at the public hearings or be submitted to the Planning Department.

    Copies of the proposed Rule 23 are on file and open to inspection during office hours at the Planning Department, Aupuni Center, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3, Hilo, Hawaii and at the Kona office of the Planning Department, West Hawaii Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Building E, 2nd Floor, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

    Additionally, Planning Department Rules can be found on-line at Any person requiring special assistance or auxiliary aid and/or services to participate in the hearing should contact the Planning Department at 961-8288 three (3) working days prior to the hearing so that appropriate arrangements can be made. A copy of the proposed Rule 23 (Short-Term Vacation Rentals) will be mailed to any interested person who requests a copy, pays the required fees for the copy and the postage, if any. Requests can be made via phone at (808) 961-8288 or by email to:

    Notice to Lobbyists: If you are a lobbyist, you must register with the Hawaii County Clerk within five days of becoming a lobbyist {Article 15, Section 2-91.3(b ), Hawaii County Code}. A lobbyist means "any individual engaged for pay or other consideration who spends more than five hours in any month or $275 in any six-month period for the purpose of attempting to influence legislative or administrative action by communicating or urging others to communicate with public officials." {Article 15, Section 2-91.3(a)(6), Hawaii County Code} Registration forms and expenditure report documents are available at the Office of the County Clerk, 25 Aupuni Street, Room 1402, Hilo, Hawaii 96720. MICHAEL YEE, PLANNING DIRECTOR COUNTY OF HAWAII PLANNING DEPARTMENT Hawaii County is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.

  • Thursday, January 24, 2019 11:18 AM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    ORDINANCE NO. 18-114

    Revised 1-22-2019


    As defined by Ordinance No. 18-114, a "Short-Term Vacation Rental" is a dwelling unit of which:

    • The owner or an operator does not reside on the building site,
    • Has no more than five bedrooms for rent on the building site, and
    • Is rented for a period of thirty consecutive days or less.

    The ordinance does not apply to:

    • Hosted short-term vacation rentals where the owner or operator resides on the building site;
    • Bed and Breakfast establishments as regulated by the Zoning Code;
    • Short-term rental of a "primary residence" as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.


    • To limit the conversion of the Island's much needed residential housing into visitor vacation accommodations;
    • To protect the quality of life in local neighborhoods;
    • To encourage the preservation of housing opportunities, close to work within the mixed-use, urban centers;
    • To identify Zoning Districts that best support the operation of Short-Term Vacation Rentals;
    • To establish policies to permit and regulate single family and multi-family residential dwelling units that operate as a Short-Term Vacation Rental;
    • To provide an opportunity to continue operation of pre-existing Short-Term Vacation Rentals within legally-built dwelling units located outside of permitted Zoning Districts through granting of a Non-Conforming Use Certificate;
    • To provide a process for the registration of all Short-Term Vacation Rentals;
    • To adopt standards for the management and operation of all Short-Term Vacation Rentals.


    Short-term vacation rentals are permitted in the following zoning districts:

    • Resort (V)
    • General Commercial (CG)
    • Village Commercial (CV)
    • Residential and Commercial zoning districts within the General Plan Resort and Resort Node;
    • Condominiums within the Multi-family residential district (RM).



    Short Term Vacation Rentals, operating outside of a permitted Zoning District prior to the effective date of this ordinance, will have one hundred eighty (180) days after the adoption of rules of procedures to apply for a Nonconforming Use Certificate. A property that has a nonconforming use certificate retains that use even if the property changes hands. That use however, will end permanently if the short term vacation rental ceases for one year.



    1. Existing Short-Term vacation rentals shall register with the Planning Director within one 180 days from the adoption of rules.

    2. Future Short-Term Vacation Rentals operating within permitted Zoning Districts shall register with the Planning Director prior to beginning operation.

    3. The registration for ALL short-term vacation rentals, at a minimum, shall require the following:

    A. Payment of $500 registration fee.

    B. Verification that a State of Hawaii GET License and a State TAT License are in effect and that County property taxes are paid in full.

    • State law requires the payment of General Excise Taxes on gross rental income.

    • State law also requires the payment of Transient Accommodation Tax from income generated by any Dwelling Unit rented for less than 180 days per year.

    C. Certification that the requisite amount of parking pursuant to Hawaii County Code section 25-4-51, is available;

    D. Submit a site plan showing the location of the rooms for rent and requisite parking;

    E. Verification that notification letters (only for Nonconforming use applicants) have been sent to all owners and lessees of record of all lots of which any portion is within three hundred feet of any point along the perimeter boundary of the short-term vacation rental property. (A weblink will be provided to retrieve a necessary address list).

    F. The designation of a contact person who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to address emergency issues related to the operation of the Short-Term Vacation Rental. This up-to-date information will be provided to the Planning Department.

    4. To apply for a nonconforming use certificate for an existing Short-Term Vacation Rental located outside of a permitted Zoning District as a nonconforming use, the applicant shall comply with above items #1-3 A, B, C, D, E and F as well as the following:

    A. Evidence of Prior Use. The applicant seeking a Short-Term Vacation Rental nonconforming use certificate shall have the burden of proof in establishing that the property was in use prior to the effective date of this ordinance and that the dwelling has been issued final approvals by the building division for building, electrical, and plumbing permits. Evidence of such use prior to the effective date of this ordinance may include tax documents for the relevant time period or other reliable information. Evidence of final approval of building, electrical and plumbing permits can be provided by the Department of Public Works-Building Division.

    Requirement for land located in the State Land Use Agricultural district. For a Non-conforming Use Certificate to be issued for a Short-Term Vacation Rental located in the State Land Use Agricultural district, it must be determined by the Planning Department that the lot was created prior to June 4, 1976

    C. Annual Renewal. A Short-Term Vacation Rental, registered as a nonconforming Use, must apply for renewal annually and pay a $250 renewal fee. Failure to secure annual renewal on a timely basis will result in loss of non-conforming status.

    D. Based on the above requirements, the Planning Director shall determine whether to issue and renew a nonconforming Use Certificate.


    All Short-Term Vacation Rentals shall be subject to the following standards:

    1) The owner or reachable person must be able to:

    a) Respond via telephone to a request from a guest, neighbor, or County agency within one hour of receiving that request; and

    b) Be physically present at the Short-Term Vacation Rental within three hours of receiving a call from a guest, neighbor, or County agency, when that guest, neighbor, or County agency requests the presence of the reachable person."

    2) Good neighbor policy. The owner or reachable person shall be responsible to ensure that activities taking place within the short-term vacation rental conform to the character of the existing neighborhood in which the rental is located. At a minimum, the following shall be prominently displayed within the dwelling unit and recited in the rental agreement signed by the tenant:

    a) Quiet hours shall be from 9:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m, during which time the noise from the short-term vacation rental shall not unreasonably disturb adjacent neighbors.

    b) 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.

    c) Guest vehicles shall be parked in the designated onsite parking area.

    3) All print and internet advertising of short-term vacation rentals, including listings with a rental service or real estate firm, shall include the registration and/or nonconforming use certificate number.

    4) A copy of the registration, as well as the reachable person's name and phone number, shall be displayed on the back of the front door of the sleeping quarters.

    5) Off-street parking shall meet the requirements set forth in section 25-4-51 and applicable parking standards in this Chapter.

    6) Any commercial signage that advertises a short-term vacation rental shall comply with the requirements of section 22-2.6 and chapter 3 of the Hawai'i County Code.

    Call the Hawai'i County Planning Department for additional information: Hilo Office - (808} 961-8288

    Kona Office - (808} 323-4770

  • Tuesday, December 18, 2018 1:03 PM | Linda Martin

    2019 WHAR Board of Directors were installed at the Annual Membership Meeting at Four Seasons Hualalai on December 5, 2018.

    Lisa Folden, Mike Despard, Lance Owens, Cindy Barnett, Andee Bemrose, Sara Layne Pedro, Ryan Dawson, Joreen Knox, Karen Ostlie, Kristin Moreland; not picture are Julie Wettsein & Todd Barrett. 

  • Tuesday, December 18, 2018 12:55 PM | Linda Martin

    WHAR recognizes the following individuals for their excellence in 2018!

    Lifetime Achievement - Don Watson

    Broker of the Year - Sara Hartwell

    Realtor of the Year - Marissa Ashley

    Rookie of the Year - Justin Marshall

    Affiliate of the Year - Laura DeBoer

West Hawaii Association of REALTORS®
75-5995 Kuakini Hwy., #221, Kailua Kona, HI 96740
Phone (808) 329-4874 Fax (808) 329-5191

Website Engineer: XLeration Services

© 2019 West Hawaii Association of REALTORS®

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software