Opponents of bill banning short-term rentals in residential areas gather at Honolulu Hale

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — A bill that would ban short-term vacation rentals in certain areas of Oahu is causing concern among homeowners and residents.

Ahead of Wednesday’s city council meeting, more than a dozen opponents of the measure gathered outside Honolulu Hale to ask local leaders to vote against it. They said that if the bill passes, it would hurt the local economy, families and businesses.

Bill 41 would only allow short-term vacation homes in or near resort areas, such as Waikiki and Turtle Bay, while keeping them separate from other residential neighborhoods in most of Oahu.

Among the protesters on Tuesday were landlords and residents who rely on short-term rentals.

“We’re not in a resort area and we’re being targeted as illegals or, you know, burdened with a lot of taxes to pay for law enforcement. It’s not just for legal properties – for short-term rentals,” said owner Helena Von Sydow.

The bill would also require new residential tenants to pay for at least 90 days.

“The houses that are available to the community would not be because no one will be able to afford them 90 days at a time. They can barely afford the 30 days,” said Makaha resident Tiana Wilbur.

Meanwhile, the tourism industry is strong supporters of the bill.

Just weeks ago, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said illegal vacation rentals were negatively impacting the community by taking potential residential properties off the market and causing neighborhood congestion.

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