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Kokua Line: Remote testimony urged for hearing on proposed vacation-rental rules

Question: Will the vacation rental hearing be open to the public? If not, how do we testify or submit testimony? Before COVID-19 this was in the news all the time, but you never hear about it anymore.

Answer: Yes, and the city encourages people to participate online or by telephone if possible, rather than appearing in person.

You are referring to a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday about draft rules to regulate short-term rentals of less than 30 days on Oahu. After reviewing the public input it receives, Honolulu County’s Department of Planning and Permitting says it will adopt a final draft of the rules before Aug. 1.

Short-term rentals are defined as bed-and-breakfast homes occupied by an owner or manager, or as transient vacation units, which are rented out entirely, with no host on the premises, according to DPP.

City laws require the DPP to adopt rules to regulate this industry. Among other things, the draft rules would allow homeowners to apply for a limited number of new B&B certificates of registration to legally operate. The application process would be open Aug. 1-30 annually, and the order for processing applications would be determined by lottery. You can read the proposed rules at 808ne.ws/strdraft.

Here is information about the hearing and ways people can testify, according to the DPP website devoted to short-term rentals, www.honolulu.gov/dppstr/default.html. Check the “news and updates” section for more details.

>> The public hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Mission Memorial Auditorium, 550 S. King St. COVID-19 safety rules will be enforced (wear a face mask and maintain physical distance). In-person testimony will be accepted, but the public is encouraged to participate remotely, by submitting written testimony in advance or by providing verbal testimony by computer or phone during hearing.

Here are the options for remote testimony:

>> To join the public hearing from a computer, go to globalpage-prod.webex.com/join shortly before the hearing begins. Enter the meeting number (187 616 9319) and the meeting password (dpp1) where indicated. Mute your device except while testifying.

> To join the public hearing by smartphone, you can use the WebEx smartphone app, which you could download ahead of time and then log into when the hearing begins. Use meeting number 187 616 9319 and meeting password dpp1 (the same as when logging into Webex from a computer). Mute your device except while testifying.

>> Or you can join by telephone with audio only. At the hearing time, call 408-418-9388 (a U.S. toll call). The access code is 187 616 9319, and the numeric meeting password is 3771. Mute your telephone except while testifying. Press *6 to mute and unmute.

People who want to testify by phone or Webex during the hearing should register to do so in advance, by 4:30 p.m. Monday. Email your name, phone number and the subject matter to info@honoluludpp.org.

>> Attending the hearing online or in person are not the only ways to be heard. Written testimony can be submitted in advance, by fax (to 768-6743) or by mail (to 650 S. King St., 7th Floor, Honolulu, HI 96813).


Mahalo to the kind gentleman who let me know that I was about to drive out of the parking lot with my coffer order on the roof of my car. I had my own cup in my hand, but my co-workers’ drinks were in the container I had placed on my car while I got my car keys. He didn’t even laugh! — Embarrassed

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

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