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Hawaii County Bed and Breakfast Guidelines

Section 25-4-7 of the Hawaii County Code outlines requirements for all Bed and Breakfast establishments on the Big Island.

In effect since only 1996, the rules allow their existence in almost any residential area. In a nutshell:

  • Up to 5 guest rooms are allowable on lots of 15,000 square feet or greater.
  • Room count may be adjusted for smaller lots.
  • Up to 10 guests can be housed at any time.
  • Guests may stay 30 days or less.
  • The specific county permit required is based on the underlying zoning.
  • Off-street parking must be provided.
  • Owners are expected to live in the Bed and Breakfast dwelling.
  • Only breakfast may be served.
  • A Bed and Breakfast permit “runs with the land” meaning that once it is in place, it passes to subsequent owners.

As REALTORS®, we sometimes advertise properties that possess unique qualities which we feel might make them desirable as transient accommodations. At times, neighbors become concerned about the impact such an operation might have on the neighborhood.

I have sold several Bed and Breakfast establishments over the years.

I was surprised to learn that a Bed and Breakfast creates less impact on a neighborhood than a typical family. This makes perfect sense if you think about it. As a parent, I know how much traffic my family creates. B&B guests typically make one trip to the property and leave in the morning. They do not normally return during the day.

Maybe B&Bs improve home values.

Because pride of ownership directly affects the innkeeper’s ability to make a living, property maintenance issues are normally non-existent. From my experience, the quality of most Bed and Breakfasts meets or exceeds our local hotels. Many reflect the gracious character and charm synonymous with Hilo.

What better experience for a visitor to take away from this wonderful place than the warmth of a Big Island family willing to share their home with Aloha! In my mind, there are certainly worse things that could happen to a neighborhood!

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February 22, 2018

You’ve got it wrong. Vacation Rentals in residential neighborhoods whether B&B (home owners live there too) or not take away from the feeling of a close knit neighborhood. I know, as I live on a street where 60% of the homes rent out typically several days at a time. It feels like a resort hotel community here not knowing who the strangers are that come and go every week. Having more cars around and less parking available and not being compensated for use of our private street (Maintenance of which is at at homeowners cost) by these strangers is another consideration you’re overlooking….. all for the benefit of my resident neighbors who shouldn’t own a home if they can’t afford it…and for the benefit (if they can enforce the codes) of the state who can collect short term vacation or B&B rental taxes. Nothing here that is benefiting the regular homeowner wishing to live in a nice neighborhood.

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