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Confused about TVR Permits

Oregon
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Confused about TVR Permits

I've seen numerous posts over the past few months about making sure any place you book has been approved as a legal Transient Vacation Rental and have never quite understood the reasoning for this.

Recently I spoke with an owner over the phone and she told me they have ~never had a permit (I believe she said the rental is connected to their house so maybe a permit isn't necessary in that case), and that probably only 50 places on Kauai do. She thinks the county is trying to run people out of business who have been renting for years.

I question that, but my main question is what is the significance to a renter if the unit hasn't been approved? Can we be kicked out of the rental if we do book it? Opinions, please.

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Kauai
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Moorpark, California
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1. Re: Confused about TVR Permits

II'll let someone on the island answer the "why" question. But the comment that only about 50 have been approved is false. Here is the TVR log and you will see that many, many rentals have been approved.

www.kauaigovonline.org/COKForms/tvr_log.aspx

Also, if an owner is renting to you with out a permit, they are breaking the law. Many properties have received “Cease and Desist” orders from the county. I would never rent a place knowing that they have either been denied or never applied for a permit. You may in jeopardy of not having a place to stay when you arrive on the island.

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2. Re: Confused about TVR Permits

p.s. There are over 300 properties on the log that have been approved.

Hawaii
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3. Re: Confused about TVR Permits

The county wants to put a stop to New vacation rentals in some areas, and make sure they are getting tax money from existing operations.

The risk to the renter is - you book a place 6 months in advance, at some point the county starts fining them, and they decide to close shop. So you are left looking for another place to stay. No you won't get kicked out of the rental while you are there. An upstanding owner will let you stay for free if they get into this situation just before you arrive (since they can't be fined if they don't charge money).

I'm not sure if anyone has been fined yet under the new system. The county is proceeding cautiously because it's expensive to litigate and they're on unsure footing with the previous zoning laws allowing for rentals.

Hawaii
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4. Re: Confused about TVR Permits

I think the "why" is mostly to try and influence housing prices and availability for island residents. Mind you, some areas will never again be affordable for residents. Too many people on the planet and too few nice places to live. It's also a competitive industry, so competing accommodations will like to see them gone.

Kailua, Hawaii
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5. Re: Confused about TVR Permits

In defense of some vaction rental owners who do not have a permit and are still renting, the history of Kauai County's efforts to regulate Temporary Vacation Rentals is a little murky.

Vacation Rentals on Kauai have been opreating far longer than the County's efforts. Any efforts by a government agency to stop a previously legal operation that has been giving income to an owner can be considered, under Land Use Law, as a "Taking", and can be challenged in court. I don't think all the shoes have dropped in this issue on Kauai.

One of the problems with the current ordnance is that the "Vacation Destination Areas" were defined for single family homes long after there were Vacation Rentals operating outside them, thus creating an arbitrary Government decision about who are the "good guys" and who are the "bad guys". I was concerned about this, so I asked the head of the Kauai Visitors Bureau to find out the sequence. Here is the reply she received from the County:

************************************

Here’s a brief Visitor Destination Area (VDA) history.

The VDAs are basically overlay zones established by ordinance. The original VDAs were designated in 1982 and were designed to make a legal area for timeshares and vacation rentals in multi-family buildings and, as George correctly notes, control their proliferation elsewhere. The ordinance at the time did not address single family vacation rentals, which basically meant they were allowed anywhere residential uses were permitted as they were still single family residences holding a single family and there were no regulations on length of stay.

The TVR ordinance (#864) brought about regulations on vacation rentals. It also did acknowledge that many existed prior to the adoption of this ordinance in March of 2008, but to clarify not necessarily before the adoption of the Visitor Destination Areas. Still there is an acknowledgment that these operations existed prior to regulations and that is the reason for the Non-Conforming Use certificate.

*********************************

That makes the frustration of the person who replied to you a bit more understandable.

The question of what can happen to you if you book a non-permitted VR is a little like what will happen if a hurricane blows the house down between the time you book and the time you arrive. Hopefully, the owner will refund your money.

But what if their insurance company has not paid them yet? Or if they are not insured for a hurricane?

There are some things worth worrying about, and others that are not. It's your decision.

Hank

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6. Re: Confused about TVR Permits

As the owner lives on the property and rents out a separate section of the main house or an adjacent guest cottage it is considered a "homestay" or "Bed & Breakfast".

There is no vehicle at the present for Homestay/B&B's to apply for a permit. This 1st round of applications (ordinance 864 passed last year) addresses TVR's where owners rent out the entire house/condo/property, and just those outside the Visitor Designation Areas (VDA's) have been processed so far.

The plan was for the Homestay/B&B rentals to go through the permit process once this 1st round application mess is sorted out.

Another key issue is the situation with rentals on Ag land. They are currently denied but there is no talk of enforcement until bill 2298 gets settled. The bill 2298 would grandfather in existing Ag rentals in good standing until the county completes their "Important Agricultural Land" study - it's been started and is expected to be complete by 3/11.

Bill 2298 has been shuffled back and forth from the planning commission and the council. I believe the county council will attempt to vote on it this Wednesday (10/14). I'm guessing it will pass 5-2 with Kaipo Asing and newcomer Derek Kawakami voting against it. If Mel Rapozo and Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho would have not given up their seats for the Mayor race and prosecutor office respectively, the bill would not have had a chance.

I kind of like the bill, as I feel some areas have been improperly zoned AG such as parts of Anini Beach - I believe TVR's are fine there. Not sure why it got first zoned Ag. Maybe because it used to be the main road before Hurricane Ewa washed away the bridge from Kalihiwai to Anini?

On the other hand, being in the market to buy a home on Kauai, I don't want to see any bills passed that will try to prop up real estate prices.

Bottom line is I don't think you'll have to worry about the County kicking you out of your Hanalei B&B / Homestay for at least the next year.

Here's a link on the Kauai's Important Ag Land project from last week's Garden Isle:

kauaiworld.com/articles/2009/10/04/news/kaua…

And here's the latest on Bill 2298 from 9/23 Garden Isle:

Sorry to be so long winded, but I feel my main concern with Kauai rentals is that some owners are forced to neglect needed maintenance with booking numbers and prices down while trying their best to keep up with the mortgage and association fees - some of which are rising.

I haven't heard of a case where a Kauai renter has found their rental forclosed on with a Bank lock box on it - yet.

I also haven't heard of any "denied" TVR's being "shut down" by the County - yet. There will be plenty of court cases before this happens. This past July, 33 TVR's that had previously been "denied" were overturned to "approved" by the Planning Commission under legal pressure - most of these were in the Wainiha / Haena area.

Community activist groups just don't seem to be carrying a big enough stick to these "discussions" while we are in this downturn in tourism and real estate prices.

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Kauai
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Wainiha
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Haena
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Kaua'i, HI
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7. Re: Confused about TVR Permits

Aloha from Kaua'i!

From another perspective - as a resident of Kaua'i - I have seen areas here that were primarily long time residential communities slowly squeezing out the residents in order for mostly mainland home owners to turn their property into a more profitable vacation rental - I've known at least 3 or 4 people who lost their homes (rented) in recent years because the owners wanted vacation rental income instead of long term renters.

Many communities have been changed in complexion (no pun intended) because of this - think of it this way....the neighborhood where you live now -all of a sudden your neighbors are moving out and short term vacation renters move in - now, I'm sure most folks here are not in this category - but some vacationers like to party loud and party at night and let's face it - when you are on vacation, you usually don't keep the same hours you do at home.

You are now dealing with an entirely different group of people - who are there on vacation, not to live their daily lives.

Not all visitors are considerate of the people in the neighborhood who have to get up at 5am to get the kids ready for school and then go off to work - come home, etc, etc. There has been a lot of resentment about this from people who live here in various areas that have this situation.

Communities have been impacted in a big way over this - and some illegally as they are not in a defined Visitor Destination Area (I live in a VDA - the Po'ipu area).

I don't have much sympathy for someone who sees bigger bucks in visitor rentals and turns a family out of their rental home (trying to find a home here to rent at an affordable price for many of us is near to impossible) in order to "cash in" illegaly on vacationers.

Off my soap box - I just know what I've seen and without getting into the laws and what has been passed and what hasn't - I think it is unfair and a reason why so many young people on this island feel they HAVE to move away after high school - lack of jobs and affordable housing is a huge factor - Vegas, here they come! Inexpensive housing and work to be had.

Malama Pono,

Janet

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8. Re: Confused about TVR Permits

I didn't read Hank's reply before posting, but definitely agree with his opinion that the whole history of Kauai zoning and TVR's is very murky (especially at the present). They could easily be construed as arbitrary and have a good chance of not holding up in court or not being able to be enforced by the County.

Here's the link to the lasert article on Bill 2298 I forgot to link in my last post:

kauaiworld.com/articles/2009/09/23/news/kaua…

And here's the link from Garden Isle article reporting the 33 TVR's that were pressured to be changed from "denied" to "approved" on the county TVR log last July:

kauaiworld.com/articles/2009/07/29/news/kaua…

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9. Re: Confused about TVR Permits

On October 14th, the county council decided to defer Bill 2298 for another month if anyone is still keeping track of this mess.

Hartford...
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10. Re: Confused about TVR Permits

As an individual who has only visited and got bit by curiousity, seeing the name of the individuals we rented from with the words "Denied" at the end... this means they cannot LEGALLY rent it out, and visitors run the risk of having the operation shut down before they arrive? Thanks, Joe