Petition To Rethink Homestay & Farmstay Regulations (Transient Accommodation Rentals)

Petition To Rethink Homestay & Farmstay Regulations (Transient Accommodation Rentals)

January 7, 2023
Petition to
Hawaii County Council Member Heather Kimball and 1 other
Signatures: 1,672Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters


On November 21, 2022 Hawaii County Counselors proposed to the community a draft bill of TAR (Transient Accommodation Rental) that will financially impact the more than 7,500 families who rent a bedroom in their home or an ohana on their property.

The bill states that hosted TAR owners in residential or agriculture zones must apply for a non-conforming use permit. Additionally, TAR Owners are not permitted to live in a guest house, detached bedroom, Ohana, or other structure and rent out the main house. Site plans, floor plans, proof of adequate parking, and tax clearances (among other things) will be required for registration.  Additionally, notification letters to all landowners within 300 feet will be required.  Approval may or may not be granted by the county.

The bill effectively eliminates agri-tourism. It provides no path for families who live in residential or on agriculturally zoned land to participate in Hawaii's main industry. This impacts the financial viability of farms and puts local food production in jeopardy.

This bill affects families who count on the rent from a bedroom or guest house to pay their mortgage and support their families every month.

The County drafted the bill without conducting any independent studies, holding any listening sessions or collaborating with any of the several groups who represent property owners, families or farmers.

This petition is a respectful request to our elected officials to rethink the proposed legislation and draft new legislation in partnership with the families it will affect.


We demand the opportunity to own property in Hawaii, use our property as we see fit (as long as it does not harm others), benefit economically from our property, and, as citizens of Hawaii, maintain ownership and control of our own property without being over-regulated.

County of Hawaii:

  • Stop choosing economic winners and losers based on unfounded, unresearched claims
  • Stop harming our financial ability to keep our home and support our families
  • Stop prohibiting home and farm owners from earning extra income to make ends meet by further limiting the legal use of private properties
  • Stop dictating in which buildings we can live and how we can use our own private buildings

As a resident of Hawai’i County, I respectfully request:

·       Council members Kimball and Kierkiewicz to withdraw the current proposed legislation and re-start the process by listening to families potentially affected by the bill.

·       Hawai’i County to initiate an independent study from qualified academics with a focus on past legislation’s direct impact on affordable housing, homelessness, income inequality and home prices.  This study should also review other independent academic work both nationally and internationally in order to forecast the proposed bill’s effects on families and the local economy.

·       Conduct island wide listening sessions with farmers, farmstay operators, homestay operators, vacation rental operators and local neighborhoods to get feedback and ideas prior to drafting new legislation.

·       Publicly disclose the number, type and location of all complaints related to homestay and farmstay operations including grouping complaints by complainant.

·       Draft the new legislation in collaboration with stakeholders using an open online tool such as Google Docs that discloses the writer and editor of each clause and allows the general public to comment on the legislation as it is drafted.

·       Fully enforce current legislation regulating vacation rentals and study the results before passing new legislation intended to solve the same problems.

While I am not opposed to common sense regulation, I am opposed to a legislative process that does not include rigorous investigation, stakeholder involvement and uniform enforcement.

My vote in the next election will be strongly influenced by the County’s future behavior in this matter.



Support now
Signatures: 1,672Next Goal: 2,500
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Heather KimballHawaii County Council Member
  • Ashley KierkiewiczHawaii County Council Member