History proves B&B operations can be obtrusive


POSTED: Thursday, October 01, 2009

The president of the Hawaii Vacation Rental Owners Association alleges that her opponents have resorted to fear tactics by suggesting that B&Bs might become mini hotels (”;Bed-and-breakfast bill advances in Council,”; Star-Bulletin, Sept. 23).

She further states that conditions of 20 years ago do not hold today.

She can be forgiven for not understanding the problems of the last 20 years, since she is a relative newcomer to Hawaii.

She also does not appear to understand that in those intervening years many dozens of huge houses have been built in Kailua and elsewhere and some were clearly designed to accommodate vacationers, not residents. Basically, they can become mini hotels. Or are used as such today.

I live directly across from one such edifice. When it was constructed in 1990 the developer planned to sell it as a corporate retreat, with eight bedrooms, nine bathrooms, two separate buildings and a courtyard separating them.

Well, no corporation wanted it, so he began to use it as a high-priced vacation rental with Hollywood clientele, rock stars, etc. Big stretch limos pulled up daily and we had a circus of catered party entertainment constantly going on.

It took me several years, working with the enforcement branch of the city Building Department, but the short-term rentals stopped. New owners took over. I don't know who they are. They do not live in Hawaii. They still use it as a vacation rental, but the current Realtor who is in charge keeps the turnover to one a month.

If this bill passes and allows a free-for-all as to who, where and how vacation rentals can operate, we most certainly will find ourselves back living across from a Waikiki-like hotel.

Only this time we will have no recourse. They will have the protection.

Is this fear-mongering?

No, it is quite real and based upon real experience.


Mollie Foti is a resident of Kailua.