Implications of Legalizing Gambling in Hawaii (Jean Aoki)|
December Planning Meeting
Pieces to the Puzzle: The Ka Iwi Coast (Elizabeth Reilly)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade (Betty Goodwin)
Universal Health Care (Joy Marshall)
Welcome New Members
Bed and Breakfast Bill Deferred (Elizabeth Reilly & Ursula Rutherford)
Calendar of Events
Bed and Breakfast Bill Deferred
The Special Zoning Committee Hearing on Bill 6 CD2 was held in the City Council committee room before a standing-room-only crowd on January 20th. Members of the Committee present were: Rod Tam, chair, Duke Bainum, vice-chair, Romy Cachola, Gary Okino. Member Barbara Marshall was absent. No action was taken on the Bill.
Version CD2 of Bill 6 attempted to meet some of the opponents' objections. In an unexpected turn of events, chairman Rod Tam before the start of the hearing, surprised his fellow committee members and the audience with a "hand carried" hot-of-the press new version of Bill 6, CD2-2.
This new version nullified amendments contained in the first edition of CD2, and further stripped it of any community safeguards. An owner would not have to live in the bed-and-breakfast home, neighbors would not be able to ask for a public hearing, applicants for permits would not have to make a presentation at Neighborhood Boards, and a 500-foot minimum distance between bed-and breakfast operations would be eliminated. In essence, it proposed to legalize an unlimited number of non-owner-occupied vacation rentals everywhere in every residential neighborhood of our island, discounting all feelings of residential neighbors.
This latest aggressive attempt by the illegal vacation rental industry to write its own law, stunned not only the opponents of Bill 6, but also some of the committee members. Some of them seemed to at long last recognize that these bed-and-breakfast operations are not simply benign Mom&Pop businesses, but a big and lucrative mini-hotel industry in the very heart of our residential neighborhoods. An industry owned to a great extent by off-shore owners and speculators.
Approximately 55 people gave testimony, including League president Piilani Kaopuiki. In opposing Bill 6 in all its versions, she stressed the League's position on the importance of adherence to our planning guidelines, such as the General Plan and zoning laws. She emphasized that residential zoning is for residents and not for tourists. She stated the League's opposition to mass spot-zoning and the planning havoc that it represents.
Testimonies of the opponents of Bill 6 had a common message, not only about the violation of residential zoning laws, but especially about the lack of enforcement of the law on the books, and how lifting the ban and allowing for mini-hotel operations in our residentially zoned areas would impact our housing situation and deteriorate the fabric of our communities.
The lack of safeguards for the community, and the need to address the enforcement issue, prompted the committee to defer the bill in order to address those concerns.
Stay tuned! You are also encouraged to contact the Zoning Committee members to express your concerns.
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