Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Musings: Invasion of the Vacation Rentals
As this graphic shows (click to enlarge), there’s a very good reason why some folks are hoppin’ mad about vacation rentals. They’re all frickin’ over the place, especially on the North Shore.
The red dots represent the transient vacation rentals (TVRs) that have already been approved by the county, based on its own records. As you can see, there’s a sizable number in Kekaha and Lawai, but the biggest concentration is on the North Shore.
In fact, there are so many that Caren Diamond had to place dots on top of each other and run them out into the water and up Na Pali Coast in order to fit them all onto the map.
“I do want to do it over again with smaller dots,” she said. Actually, she may need to use a fine-tipped red pen.
At the Council meeting where Caren presented this, Councilman Jay Furfaro said, incorrectly, “Oh, you mapped Princeville.”
No, the shocking fact is that these are all TVRs outside the visitor destination areas (VDA) where they are allowed. In other words, these are the TVRs that are not in the designated resort areas, but instead have turned residential neighbors into de facto resorts.
The blue dots represent TVRs on ag land that applied for permits, but have not yet been granted approval. They are the ones that would be allowed under the bill now before the Council.
And they do not, by any stretch of the imagination, represent all the TVRs currently operating on ag land. Many ag land TVR owners did not apply the last time around because the bill specifically excluded them. Why would you apply if you didn’t think you could get approved?
The bill pending before the Council will open the door to all of them, so long as they pay their $1,500.
So we don’t really know how many more ag land TVR owners will apply if the bill is passed, and how many more blue dots will be added to ag land that is supposed to be occupied by farm dwellings. Just as we don’t know how many of the other illegal TVR owners who couldn’t make it the last time around because they had various zoning violations will re-apply under the new bill, which does away with pesky inspections and other compliance requirements.
The county’s rationale for allowing more TVRs is that it risks getting sued if it doesn’t. Yet somehow it does not fear the liability of funneling thousands of hapless vacationers into a tsunami zone with only one way out and no evacuation plan.
As this map clearly shows, the TVR scene is out of control. It’s time to start working on attrition, not addition.