(BIVN) – The man who on March 13 gave the Hawaii County Council a 90-minute power point presentation on short-term vacation rentals was on hand for Tuesday’s discussion on the bill that seeks to regulate the growing industry.
Stefan Buchta, a Leleiwi Community Association member and studious observer of the new tourism sector led by companies like Airbnb, testified from Hilo during the April 24 Hawaii County Council Planning Committee meeting. He said he appreciates the effort to bring forward bill 108, introduced by Kona councilmembers Karen Eoff and Dru Kanuha, that seeks to define where short-term vacation rentals would be allowed.
The bill also proposes to establish regulations for vacation rental use, and “provides a way for an owner or operator to obtain a nonconforming use certificate that would allow them to operate in a non-permitted district, the meeting agenda stated.
In an interview conducted outside the meeting, Buchta said he supports the smaller rentals operated by owners living on the property. But he is concerned that the bill fails to allocate the resources that will be necessary to fight the larger vacation rental developments “already in the ground”.
The Planning Committee put off any decision on bill 108 until May 8th.