Hotel working with county

HANALEI — In August, the county Planning Department issued violations to Hanalei Bay Resort for illegal dwellings and insufficient parking.

Further investigation is taking place for non-compliance to zoning rules and the unapproved use of lock-out bedrooms, according to the department.

The resort’s general manager, Greg Veal, said the resort “does not exceed the unit density approved by the county in the early 1970s, which was before the adoption of the county Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.”

“The structures at Hanalei Bay Resort are built to the designs approved by the Kauai Planning Department,” Veal said in a prepared statement. “We are actively working with the county about its latest concerns.”

The county investigation claimed that the resort exceeds the maximum unit density by 146 apartments, according to the August permit compliance violation and zoning compliance notice.

“Hanalei Bay Resort is proactively involved in discussions with county officials. More clarity is needed on several issues to determine if compliance measures are necessary,” Veal said. “If so, they will be properly addressed in a specific plan of action.”

In its homeowners’ association Notice Letter to Unit Owners, Michael Rembis, president of the Hanalei Bay Resort Association Of Apartment Owners, stated, “It is possible that the prohibition against separate lock-out usage will be enforced, so you should be mindful of that in planning the future use of your unit. In fact, especially in light of the potential fines from the county, the board strongly encourages you to not accept new bookings for lock-outs.”

Veal wrote: “While we believe our units are fully permitted and grandfathered, we take the Planning Department’s concerns seriously. Thus, while we continue discussion with planners, we encourage our owners to take the most cautious approach.”

On June 27, the county counted 160 available parking stalls, leaving a deficiency of 52 spaces, along with no provisions for 37 so-called theatre-type parking places.

“HBR has engaged two consultants to identify and engineer additional on-site parking at Hanalei Bay Resort. That work is underway,” Veal said. “The gated portion of the guest parking, which is just a portion of Hanalei Bay Resort’s parking, has been approved by the court. The county was not aware of that court ruling, and we have recently brought the ruling to the county’s attention.”

Veal said Hanalei Bay Resort has operated with its current design for 40 years, and current parking has always been adequate.

“Recently, the restaurants on property significantly increased their seating capacity, creating new parking pressures,” he said. “We are working hard to help them resolve those issues.”

  1. Jim Mehta November 14, 2017 12:58 am Reply

    Although I am tempted to address Mr. Veal’s comments on many of the topics which he chose to comment on above, I will for the moment correct him on just one simple fact which he falsely claims – that of the restaurants’ seating capacity being increased. This is pure nonsense. The restaurants have been in existence for over 30 years. Neither the Happy Talk Lounge nor the Bali Hai Restaurant have increased their capacity in seating nor have they increased their size in terms of square-footage. This can be simply verified by County Building and Planning. The method used for calculating seating capacity is by the size of the seating area – comprising of both the sit down dining and bar area, along with the staff. This formula has not changed. Additionally, the Bali Hai Restaurant has not even opened yet so it is rather comical to read Mr. Veal’s statement “Recently,the restaurants on property significantly increased their seating capacity, creating new parking pressures”. The Happy Talk Lounge operates at or often BELOW its allowed seating capacity Mr. Veal and The Bali Hai is EMPTY because it has not yet opened due to, among other things, the issues on hand which the Hanalei Bay Resort has been notified for by the Kauai County Planning. As for the parking pressures, it is our customers who have been faced with the pressure of finding parking with the new gates being installed – a feature that did not exist until just months before our restaurant opened.

  2. Dave O November 14, 2017 9:00 am Reply

    Hey Greg Veal, that’s quite the spin you have going on. Just create some lies and distort the truth then throw it out there and see what sticks. Let me ask you:

    1. How could the restaurants ”…significantly increased their seating capacity, creating new parking pressures…” without increasing the physical square footage? If they did, wouldn’t the Planning Commission have required additional parking be available as part of the permitting process? Wouldn’t HBR have been notified of such a variance before it was approved? The main restaurant isn’t even open yet and there is no place to park. Could that have anything to do with HBR eliminating 89 (52 regular plus 37 theater style) parking spaces? And that’s before HBR allowed absentee owners to illegally double the number of allowable rental units. Could either or both of those two illegal actions have anything to do with the current parking issues?
    2. Why the hell does HBR even have a “…gated portion of the guest parking…”? Was the Association having a problem with the general public taking up parking spaces at HBR? If HBR hadn’t illegally reduced total parking by 89 spaces and absentee owners illegally doubled the number of rentable units at HBR do you think, just maybe, parking wouldn’t have become such an issue?

    HBR caused these parking problems, and now HBR got busted for illegal activities. Just because HBR got away with its illegal activities for years doesn’t suddenly make it legal. This isn’t going away. HBR’s little secrets have been exposed.

  3. Kelly Lee November 14, 2017 12:12 pm Reply

    Happy Talk is simply the best restaurant on Kauai and gives so much aloha to its guests. It is unfortunate that in order to get there I am met with some unfriendliness fron Bali Hai Staff and its parking staff.

  4. Trisha H November 14, 2017 12:16 pm Reply

    Can you provide some color on how these issues are being resolved? I am just seeing greed of absentee owners and an arrogant board. Opening this restaurant would be in the best interest for all those involved as local Jobs are being withheld and the Princeville community is ruining its rapport with locals and hurting future business. This issue should be a priority and I hope to see it resolved quickly.

  5. Jeff gordon November 14, 2017 12:21 pm Reply

    This is rediculous, Hanalei Bay Resort has been caught red handed and are trying to blame the restaurant. You’d think they would want a restaurant at the Resort, but they are acting like the restaurant is the enemy. Bad idea.
    They broke the law, now they must fix the parking situation.

  6. Kelsey November 14, 2017 12:35 pm Reply

    It sounds like that further investigation is going to find the illegal use of lockouts. The letter from the association even states that “It is possible that the prohibition against separate lock-out usage will be enforced”. It should be enforced since it is not allowed! These people should be fined. It is their greed that is stopping a local business from opening and providing jobs to those that live on the island.

  7. Tommy Hindmarsh November 14, 2017 3:06 pm Reply

    I Love Happy Talk Restaurant…always greeted with lots of aloha and generous service. Bali Hai Staff should have probably used some common sense to ensure safety and well-being of all.

  8. Peggy November 14, 2017 3:54 pm Reply

    It seems that the resort created the parking problem by increasing the number of rooms they were allowed to have. If the county allows this resort to get away with violating their room permit. What will stop all the other resorts from doing it too? I read another article on this situation, it stated that there was a newly renovated restaurant waiting to open but could not due to the parking conditions.
    It’s unfortunate the county can’t/won’t hold the resort responsible for creating this problem, thus creating a loss of job opportunities.

  9. ed colson November 15, 2017 6:55 am Reply

    The facts seem to be getting in the way of Mr. Veal’s narrative.

  10. Debi Rickert November 16, 2017 1:55 pm Reply

    First off, I frequented Happy Talk and Bali Hai Restaurant when they were under different ownership and both were open. There was plenty of parking for guests of HBR, and guests of both restaurants/bar. Now there is not and Bali Hai Restaurant is not even open for business. You do the math here.

    The resort cut off parking to the Happy Talk Lounge via a gate to the guest parking area a while ago which is preventing the Bali Hai Restaurant from opening.

    I find it hard to believe that HBR is not in violation of lock outs, etc, when now they don’t have enough parking for their own guests. They cannot blame the lounge since patrons of the lounge are not allowed to park in “their” parking areas.

    I believe HBR has an alternative motive here. Kudos to the county for investigating and cracking down on HBR’s illegal activities.

  11. Jason November 16, 2017 2:14 pm Reply

    Total disgrace on the part of HBR and their CRIMINAL manager Greg Veal. Seems they are holding the restaurant owner hostage trying to extort his business due to some miserable board members. Based on some comments I have heard from HBR staff, this may be a product of racial bias or indifference to locals by people who visit Kauai just a few weeks a year. On a comic note, it resembles the behavior of a South Part episode called “Going Native” that does a parody about the haole part timers who call themselves locals. Since the gates were not there on the day the restaurant opened or during the entire construction phase, the county should immediately remove the ILLEGAL gates from the ILLEGAL hotel that has ILLEGAL Lock Out Units, so that the patrons can enjoy this fine establishment. The restaurant owner should not be deprived of revenue while this is sorted out. Even if he wins this argument, he can never recover lost profits. Come on HBR…have a heart!!!

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