Neighbors complain Aina Haina house is being used for business

Neighbors complain Aina Haina house is being used for business

AINA HAINA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Home video taken of a party at 919 Punahele Place on January 24 shows fire knife dancers performing to the beat of Tahitian drums. Neighbors claim it was a full-on Polynesian review for upwards of a 150 people.

"We had an iPhone with an app on it. And the decibel level was 80 to 100, which is way excessive. That went on for a good portion of the evening," Jeff Carlson said.

Carlson lives next door to the shorefront property. He and other neighbors have kept a list of at least 28 events they say have happened at the home over the past year -- most of them weddings. They believe the property is being used as an illegal wedding chapel.

"It's not a family and friends thing," he said. "Typically it's a Japanese wedding. It'll be anywhere from 10 to 50 or 60 people."

The city rules say a person can host weddings on their property, but occupants must perform all the tasks associated with the event.

"That's not the case. There are various photographers, various caterers. It's a whole variety of people. It's obviously a commercial venture," Carlson said.

Some residents complain that some of the events have been so large and lavish the host hires parking valets. One day a bus load of Japanese brides came to walk the grounds.

"When these tour busses or limos stop and park on Kalanianaole Highway in the bus/bike lane, that blocks things and makes it really dangerous for whoever, whether it's cars passing by or people passing by," Carlson said.

He said he has never seen the owner, and the house is empty except on the days the property is used. He said the people in charge of the events have told him the gatherings are for family and friends.

"The idea that somebody just blatantly tries to get around what is known as a residentially zoned neighborhood is real frustrating," he said.

Hawaii News Now spoke by telephone with the owner of the home. He declined an interview but did say he rented out the house. He would not divulge the renter's name, but he did say at this point the property isn't under his control.

A spokesman with the City Department of Planning and Permitting said a citation was issued last August when DPP determined that wedding and other social events were being held at the property.  The department is investigating the latest complaint.

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