HILO, Hawaii — A bill that would regulate vacation rentals on the Big Island has drawn interest from part-time residents who rent out their homes and condos to help pay the bills.

Supporters say regulation is needed to keep residential neighborhoods from being overrun with vacationers, West Hawaii Today reported .

North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff said “short-term rental of residential units, as an alternative to traditional resort and hotel accommodations, is an emerging trend in the visitor industry.”

She said the bill would “provide visitors the opportunity to stay in this form of vacation accommodation, while at the same time, preserving our residential neighborhoods.”

The bill has a grandfather clause for existing owners, but there are still more questions than answers for Heather Bandt, who lives in her Aloha Kona home four months a year and rents it out as a vacation home the rest of the year.

“If they denied my application for whatever reason, I would absolutely have to sell,” Brandt said.

Bandt said her family built their home, so it has a lot of sentimental value. But she said she needs to be able to pay her mortgage, property taxes and other expenses.

Planning Director Michael Yee said the bill is written generally, with specifics to be worked out to achieve a balance.

“We’re trying to address a shortage of housing, we’re trying to address integrity of neighborhoods, and trying to find that balance,” Yee said.


Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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