Vacation rentals: Changing the face of neighborhoods

Houses along Puako Beach Drive. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Residences along the coast in Puako. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO/SPECIAL TO West Hawaii Today)

Koa Kealoha, across from Richardson Ocean Park, offers a freshly cut coconut to Cindy Soto, who is visiting from Los Angeles.

This single-family home, a future vacation rental with attached ohana unit, towers over its neighbors in the Leleiwi ocean-front community near Hilo. (Photos by Nancy Cook Lauer/West Hawaii Today)

Vacation rentals (red) and home-shares (green) dot the Leleiwi community. Pins approximate for security reasons. (Map data: Stefan Buchta via Google Maps API /Special to West Hawaii Today)

Vacation rentals dot Puako. (pins approximate for security reasons) Map data: Stefan Buchta via Googlemaps API /Special to West Hawaii Today

HILO — It’s a sunny day in the oceanfront community of Leleiwi, and Terry and Jayne Oliver of Butte, Montana, are strolling the lawn of their vacation rental.