Windward Oahu residents fight for bed and breakfast ban

Ann Joyer
Ann Joyer
Stu Simmons
Stu Simmons
Leigh Prentiss
Leigh Prentiss

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

WINDWARD OAHU (KHNL) - A debate for decades is rekindled as the city considers allowing more vacation rentals and bed and breakfast businesses. But, some feel the move might be a slippery slope for other development and could be disastrous for their quiet neighborhood.

The city has barred new bed and breakfast permits since 1989. The issue continues to be heated as the Honolulu City Zoning Committee addresses two bills that could bring them back.

To bed and breakfast or vacation rental businesses, Ann Joyer says no vacancy.

"This would be a disaster," said hotel employee Ann Joyer.

She's worked for a hotel for about 30 years and says an already stumbling tourism industry could sink even further.

"Slowdowns, cutbacks, direct and genuine threat to the hotel industry," said Joyer.

Honolulu is considering bill six and bill seven. Six allows more permits but includes stricter parking and noise rules. Bill seven also opens up permitting, but details specific fines for operators.

"We're fed up and we're going to fight back," said Kailua resident Stu Simmons.

A group of Windward Oahu residents cringe that the zoning commission is considering the move despite the city's planning commission unanimously saying no. They say additional operations would make neighbors strangers, raise property tax and reduce the quality of life.

"We're not against vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts, we're against them in residential zoning," said Simmons.

"Our beach front land is invaluable and there's nothing developers would want more than to get their hands on it," said Kailua resident Leigh Prentiss.

Jobs and visitor dollars may deplete, but residents say it's a price to pay to keep Kailua, Kailua.

Numerous calls to Councilman Rod Tam who head's the zoning commission and to the city planning and permitting commission were not returned.

Officials will discuss the matter at a special meeting, Tuesday, September 22nd at 9 am.