Honolulu council gives preliminary approval to housing bills

HONOLULU — The Honolulu City Council has given preliminary approval to bills cracking down on illegal vacation rentals and allowing more residential properties to add a second dwelling.

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HONOLULU — The Honolulu City Council has given preliminary approval to bills cracking down on illegal vacation rentals and allowing more residential properties to add a second dwelling.

Both Mayor Kirk Caldwell and council members want to increase affordable housing by allowing more second dwellings either within or next to primary residential units, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

The administration introduced the bill cracking down on vacation rentals because of concerns that allowing more accessory dwellings could spur additional vacation rentals, City Zoning Director George Atta said.

But Council Zoning Chairman Ikaika Anderson said he intends to hold the vacation rental bill in his committee until the administration presents a measure that would allow a permitting system for a “very limited number” of new vacation rentals.

Anderson introduced a resolution calling on the Department of Planning and Permitting to process a more “holistic” bill he is authoring that would permit some new vacation rentals on properties that are owner-occupied and have home exemptions. The proposed bill also would include strict enforcement provisions.

“This is not an issue that can be addressed piecemeal,” he said. “What we’re going to end up doing is satisfying one half of the issue while ignoring and angering the other half.”

Atta said the administration’s priority is to create more affordable housing. He said the administration would want the bill allowing accessory dwellings to move forward with or without the bill tightening enforcement on vacation rentals.

The bills are as follows:

— Bill 20 allows second dwellings in residential zones only, on lots 3,500 to 20,000 square feet, limits the size of the units and requires one parking stall unless the lot is near a rail station.

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— Bill 21 allows second dwellings on residential lots 5,000 square feet or bigger as well as agricultural lots, does not limit unit size, and requires one or two parking stalls depending on the number of bedrooms.

— Bill 22 cracks down on illegal vacation rentals by requiring advertising of the rentals to include addresses and other information, and it imposes fines on those who fail to comply.

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