On March 7th, 2008, the Kauai County Council passed Ordinance #864 to regulate Transient Vacation Rentals on the Island of Kauai. The council said that the ordinance was needed to address “the uncontrolled proliferation” of vacation rentals outside of designated Visitor Destination Areas (VDA’s). However, the new ordinance requires registration of all vacation rentals – both inside and outside of the VDA’s. The existing Visitor Destination Areas include most of Princeville, portions of Poipu, Lihue and Kapaa and some other small areas.
All condos and single family homes inside the designated VDA areas that rent to vacationers will have until September 3, 2008 to apply for a Vacation Rental Registration Number. Vacation Rentals that are located outside of the designated VDA must apply for a non-conforming Use Certificate from the county by October 15th and receive approval by March 30, 2009. If your property is located within the existing Visitor Destination Area (VDA), registration your registration should be approved as long as you file the required documentation and pay an annual $150 fee to the county. Outside of the VDA, the county will no longer allow new vacation rentals. Existing vacation rentals that can show current and past reservation history will be allowed to continue with a special use permit, only if they register with the county each year and comply with numerous other zoning and use requirements. As of this writing, the County is requiring that all forms be submitted in person at the County Assessment Office AND at the County Planning Office. You are allowed to have another person submit the applications for you if you provide an Authorization Letter. As part of the application, the county is requiring a plot plan and building plans, signed and stamped by a licensed architect or engineer along with copies of General Excise Tax and Transient Accommodation Tax licenses and a designated 24 hour contact person.
Whether you are considering buying or selling vacation rental property in Kauai, it will be very important in the future to work with people who familiar with this ordinance and how it will affect you. The county can levy a fine against any owner, person or company that it finds in violation of the new ordinance, so please feel free to go to the County Of Kauai for more information.