Glut of illegal rentals angers homeowners

Crystal Young worries about a proposed hotel on city land in Haleiwa after witnessing resort sprawl in her nearby Sunset Beach neighborhood, where there is little park space and dozens of residential houses cater to visitors.

Driving through an area that once had a row of rural homes, Young points out fenced two-story houses renting for thousands of dollars a month, many unoccupied but operating as unpermitted vacation rentals.

“There was a whole lot of locals, hundreds … living there,” she said. “Now you have all those homeless people – and then you have those empty houses. It doesn’t seem right.”

As developer D.G. “Andy” Anderson proposes buying 3.2 acres of city land for a Haleiwa hotel, some residents are complaining about current traffic congestion, the lack of recreational space and the waves of illegal vacation houses raising rents and pushing out rural residents.

North Shore Neighborhood Board member Kathleen Pahinui said in addition to the noise from tourists and the lack of rentals for residents, illegal vacation houses artificially raise taxes for homeowners.

“They don’t care about the property taxes because in one week of rentals, they’ve got it covered,” Pahinui said. “I just think it’s wrong that the city has not enforced the zoning rules. The neighborhoods are no longer neighborhoods. …

“They’re basically turning it into a mini-resort area.”