Manoa monster home draws complaints from neighbors

Manoa monster home draws complaints from neighbors

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A monster home in Manoa is drawing complaints from neighbors, but the owner says he's not doing anything wrong.

Built in 1919, the 7,798 sq. foot home at 3284 Paty Drive is the former Dr. Straub residence.

Neighbors said it's meant to be a single-family dwelling, but since new owners bought the property in 2016, that has changed.

"One day I looked out, heard a loud truck pull down the driveway and workers unloaded six full size stoves," said Dale Gilmartin, who lives next door. "At that moment I said to my husband, 'Go on Craigslist right now. I think they're turning it into apartments.'"

Sure enough, Gilmartin said she found several listings online advertising rooms for rent.

Gilmartin said the owner had reassured her this would not happen when he first bought the place.

"He was a courtly gentleman," Gilmartin said. "He introduced himself to us put out his hand and said, 'I'm honored to be your neighbor. I'm going to restore the home to its former grandeur and I'm going to live in it with my wife and son,' and we believed him."

In March 2017, the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Planning and Permitting issued a Notice of Violation for an illegal multi-family dwelling.

Officials said when they followed up the next month, it looked like the issue was corrected, but Gilmartin said it wasn't.

Now neighbors say one of the current tenants has a business reselling cars he buys at auction.

"He's got all the neighbors up in arms because he's taken up street parking with his business," Gilmartin said.

Gilmartin tries to document everything and even started a petition with signatures from other Manoa residents, including former Governor Neil Abercrombie, urging the owner to stop skirting the rules.

Gilmartin said she handed the petition to the owner two months ago, but nothing has changed.

"I really don't want to characterize this as an interpersonal conflict," she said."Our family doesn't care who the owner is. We just want them to stop destroying the neighborhood with their activities."

City officials wouldn't go on camera, but said they've responded to multiple complaints at the home and that their requests to go on property and investigate have been denied by the homeowner and tenants.

The Manoa neighborhood board said the laws need to be tougher.

"It's pretty clear these things should be regulated and our neighborhoods can't handle this," said board chairman Dale Kobayashi.

"We are not going to stop," Gilmartin said. "We're not just going to make this the new normal."

The homeowner declined an interview, but said he's not doing anything illegal and that he has allowed city inspectors onto his property.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.