Kauai Real Estate and Local News

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*****Kauai Real Estate: New Housing Project in Lihue*****

A new 220 condominium housing project has been approved to be built in Lihue and will be located across from the Burger King on Kaumuali’I Highway (near the mall). 66 of those units will be offered for sale under the affordable housing program. Public testimony largely ran against the project as did former Mayor JoAnn Yukimura, despite this the project received permits. Also six Habitat homes are coming to Hanapepe and already there are 140 applicants and more are expected by the January 31 deadline. For an excel spreadsheet on all the new listings and closed transactions for the island of Kauai CLICK HERE

*****Jacked Up Truck Runs Over Sunbather in Wailua*****

A 38 year old Puhi woman was run over by a “modified” Nissan truck a week ago Sunday while sunbathing on a beach in Wailua known as “Kitchens”. She was airlifted to Queens Hospital in Honolulu and released on Wednesday after getting treatment for her serious injuries. Early reports state that a 20 year old Wailua man was driving along the shoreline when he turned up the beach and ran over the woman. The height of his tires was estimated at 50 inches off the ground and the frame was jacked up on top of that. The driver was arrested at the scene for an incident unrelated to the accident; two bench warrants of which he had failed to appear in court for. This incident has juiced up our papers with public outcries to crackdown on these types of vehicles.

*****Lanternfish Deaths Investigated*****
Hundreds of dead lanternfish were found washed up Kalapaki Bay on Tuesday. What’s unusual is this is a deep water fish so their appearance on the shoreline is a mystery. Lanternfish are heavily preyed upon by whales, dolphins and large fish such as tuna and shark.

*****Thieves Break into Island School*****
On the heels of last week’s Kauai College Bookstore break-in thieves struck again! This time at Island School located near the college. A rock was used to gain access into the Dean of Students office where a computer processor was taken. Fortunately no school records were on the processor. In a related news item; police have recovered the stolen safe from last week’s college break in. Police said the 300 to 400 pound safe was found in an “unusual location” and coins were left behind but the $10,000 in cash was long gone. Fingerprint testing determined that the thieves used gloves to pry the safe open but items left behind are still being tested in hopes that fingerprints will be found.

*****Princeville Associates Withdraw Zoning Amendment Application*****
To the surprise of the Princeville Associates around 250 people attended last Wednesday’s informational hearing about a zoning amendment application that was submitted by the company. The Princeville Associates’ intended to connect the current Visitor Destination Area to their new project “Greens and Meadows”. Greens and Meadows will technically be called timeshares which allows them legally to be sold as the fractional ownership they are. Coupling the negative connotation the word “timeshare” had on the community and their lack of understanding about the project they showed up in such large numbers that the developer voluntarily withdrew its application for rezoning. The plan now is more community outreach and education.

Kauai Real Estate and Local News Update

Christie’s Great Estates - Your Link to Distinctive Properties Worldwide

*****The Kauai Storm That Never Was*****

On Friday school children, teachers and state workers were given the day off in preparation for a storm that was suppose to bring us up to 50 mile an hour winds.  It turned out to be “The Wind That Wasn’t” according to our paper.  There were a few minor wind related incidents on Thursday night (Lumahai Beach tree toppled and one downed power pole) but nowhere near the new reports that we had heard.  Saying they would rather give people a “heads up with nothing happening” state officials stand by their decision to play it safe rather than sorry.  In Poipu I heard the winds coming in at 1 am which was a little later than projected and there were sudden burst of hard rain, however Friday turned out to be a beautiful sunny day here in Poipu.  There was a big run at the grocery stores, gas stations and Costco!

*****Kauai Real Estate Update*****

For a complete island wide list of what came on the market and what sold last week CLICK HERE

*****Over $10K Stolen From Kauai Community College*****

On Tuesday night KCC was broken into and thieves took over $10,000 dollars worth of cash and postage stamps after making off with the college bookstores safe.  Apparently the crooks were hungry too, candy bars and the entire stock of beef jerky was taken also.  This has brought to light that security on campus has been an issue and this latest incident adds fuel to that fire.  The bookstore is on the backside of the campus which is fairly remote, it looks like thieves busted down the doors and rolled the safe to a waiting vehicle on the new bypass road.

*****Possible Expansion of Lihue Airport*****

The Department Of Transportation (DOT) and Grove Farm teamed up for a possible expansion of Lihue airport.  The state signed an agreement to purchase some 70 acres of Grove Farm land and negotiations are open to buy more land.  The Lingle administration is doing this in effort to keep up with the long term transportation needs and stimulating the economy by creating jobs.

*****Poipu Swimmers Swept Out To Sea*****

Two visitors from New York were swept out to sea Thursday morning and Poipu lifeguards brought them back to safety using jet skies.  The couple were swimming out in front of the Marriott Waiohi at 10:45 am and got into serious trouble.

In another incident on the same day two male visitors were swimming at Anini beach at 5 pm and they became separated.  The son made it back to shore but the father was pulled out into a big channel.  Bystanders called 911 and firefighters from Hanalei station paddled out and brought the man safely to shore.

*****State of Hawaii Faces Possible $40 Million Deficit*****

Mayor Mufi Hannemann says Honolulu could see anywhere from a $13 to $40 million deficit for the year 2010.  The mayor has asked city agencies to cut their budgets by 3% and has a freeze on hiring and a moratorium on travel. 

*****Huge Surf On Northshore*****

A high surf warning was issued for the north shore and only the most expert of surfers went into the water.  Residents and visitors alike were being asked to stay away from the shoreline.  20 to 40 foot faces were reported and Hanalei Bay’s waters were churning.  People from the Poipu area were making day trips just to drive up and see the massive swell which is suppose to subside by yesterday.


Kauai Real Estate and Local News Update

*****Kauai Real Estate News*****

The Kauai Fair Housing Coalition took it’s first steps towards enacting legislation that would ban income source discrimination. The group is seeking an end to landlords posting “No HUD” on their advertisements for properties for rent.  No HUD refers to the Housing and Urban Development vouchers for housing funds.  These vouchers expire within four months not leaving renters enough time to find housing, then income needs to be verified again and while waiting for new vouchers potential renters see their applications go to the bottom of the pile of the list of properties that will rent to HUD people, currently this list is 500 names long. 

On the real estate front here is a list of the properties that have come on the market or closed escrow for last week CLICK HERE

  *****Canadian Visitor Drowns In Poipu*****

A Canadian visitor who was on a snorkel tour with five divers on Saturday was pronounced dead at Wilcox hospital.  The man “ran into difficulty” and was being helped to shore by the instructor when firefighters from the Koloa station arrived.  The lifeguard from the Poipu Beach tower jet skied over to help bring the visitor to shore.  The drowning took place near Kuhio Shores which is a very popular snorkel and dive spot.

*****Six Car Pile Up Near Kukui Grove*****

On Wednesday a 6 car pile up near Kukui Grove Shopping Center sent six people to the hospital.  Four cars were waiting to turn left onto the highway off of Kalepa (the street that runs in between the shopping center and Home Depot) and a west bound car slammed into the last of the four vehicles and rolled over to land on a car that was just making a turn onto Kalepa.  That accident caused vehicles waiting at the intersection to rear end each other.  Police said speed appears to be the determining cause.

On Friday night another crash closed Kaumuali’I Highway for an hour and the two juveniles in the car were sent to Wilcox hospital for non-life threatening injuries.  The teenage driver lost control of their SUV, ran off the road and flipped the vehicle when it hit the guardrail at marker 9.

*****Vacation Bill Cleaned Up*****

In March of 2008 the county of Kauai passed the vacation rental law which addressed a very old problem of where vacation rentals were allowed to operate in Kauai.  Two issues were cleaned up on this law; multi-family condos do not need to put up signs informing neighbors and law enforcement that the property is being used as a vacation rental.  The other change was in the handling of submissions for temporary rentals while the council was deciding if they would be permitted or not.  All applications will be published on the counties website allowing ample time for people to review them.

However a bigger issue is still in the deciding stages and that is whether or not vacation rentals could be done on land that is zoned for agricultural use.  Laws on what you can and can’t do on “ag land” are not clear and there is where the controversy lies.  New vacation rentals are not allowed to be done on ag land but do you grandfather in those that have been in operation?  There are strong feelings to allow those who depend on vacation rentals to keep their lands and those who say agricultural land should be used for agricultural use only.

In a related story; Maui Mayor signed in a new law limiting the number of Bed and Breakfast operations allowed on Maui to 400.  Under the old law the filing for an application to run a B&B was lengthy and required a public hearing but there was no limit on how many could operate on the island.  Now the process is streamlined and limits are in place.

*****Superferry Environmental Impact Study Released*****

The long awaited EIS report has been released and is available for the public to view and comments can be made up to February 23, 2009.  To see this report go to www.hawaii.gov/dot/harbors

Costing 1 million dollars the study revealed the negative and positive side of the new mode of transportation such as; loss in activities such as fishing, surfing, diving.  Danger to Humpback Whales, increase in traffic and in the transportation of invasive species.  Among the very few benefits posted is the Superferry is a “superior” mode of transportation for disaster planning and emergency response.

Kauai Real Estate and Local News Update

Christie’s Great Estates - Your Link to Distinctive Properties Worldwide

*****New Years in Oahu!*****

We joined some friends in Oahu to celebrate New Years and had a most memorable time. Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki’s main drag, was closed off to cars creating a street fair atmosphere and it was just packed. The evening started out a little rainy but the evening cleared as we enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Hula Grill which overlooks Waikiki Beach. Waikiki Beach grew steadily throughout the evening with people lighting fireworks and dancing to the music provided by the hotel. At midnight a barge which was some ways off of Waikiki put out a huge fireworks display that lit up the night, it was truly spectacular! It was so warm out that none of us needed the jackets that we brought and people were swimming in the ocean at midnight. I highly suggest a trip to Waikiki to ring in 2010 if you can. Oahu New Years

*****State Bankruptcies Filings Jump In 2008*****

Due to the economic slow down, personal over extension and job cuts our bankruptcies in Hawaii jumped 50% in 2008 and the outlook for 2009 looks to be the same. According to RealtyTrac the November foreclosure numbers are these:

Kauai 1 out of every 1416 homes

Oahu 1 out of every 1607 homes

Maui 1 out of every 871 homes

Hawaii 1 out of every 844 homes

With the new interest rates the good news is viable refinancing is available and we hope to see a slow down in foreclosures. How did we do this last week? For a list of what came on the market and what sold island wide CLICK HERE

*****Second Body in Two Days Found Near Waterfall*****

On Thursday a visitor discovered a body of a Caucasian man at the bottom of Wailua Falls, this was the day after a visiting couple found a body at Anini Stream. Both incidents are unrelated and police have determined no foul play. Identities of the bodies are being with held until next of kin are notified.

*****Lightning Closes Wailua Golf Course*****

On Friday the Department of Parks and Recreation closed Wailua Golf Course for safety reasons after a series of lightening strikes.  A stubborn high pressure cell had been over the islands for days but by Sunday it was noticeably clearer.