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.”

23 Comments
  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.


    1. Waiola November 28, 2017 6:28 am Reply

      I’m not quite understanding all this, could you please explain how HBR has illegally reduced TOTAL parking by 89 spaces? Parking has always been an issue and as far as I know parking spaces have increased not decreased.


  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.


    1. Waiola November 28, 2017 6:47 am Reply

      The restaurant can be opened at any time. The owner is choosing not to open because he wants a guaranteed number of parking spaces, used or unused, and the amount is not available and never was available even when the restaurant was open previously.


      1. Jim Mehta November 30, 2017 1:03 am Reply

        Waiola,

        How do you show an increase parking when you are required to have 249 spaces per the County requirements from Day 1 of the existence of the Hanalei Bay Resort, which by the way was shown to the County by the developer(s), and all that is available is 160? Perhaps the missing parking spots simply “disappeared” or were never there in the first place??


      2. Jim Mehta November 30, 2017 3:39 pm Reply

        Waiola,

        Now that is a rather absurd comment regarding “the restaurant owner is choosing not to open because he wants a guaranteed number of parking spaces”.

        Why would we “the restaurant owners” want to hold up the opening of the Bali Hai Restaurant for any reason, especially after we have spent a fortune in hopes of reviving it along with the Happy Talk? You obviously are being fed the same garbage by your management as what they tried to spin to the public recently.

        Unfortunately and sadly, most of the homeowners have been kept in the dark all this time of all the efforts made by us with your Board to try come up with a peaceful and workable solution for parking. Now, the truth is beginning to surface about the Hanalei Bay Resort’s shortage of common element parking not only for its original 134 condos, but also for commercial units there – including the only commercial unit not owned or controlled by the AOAO and its Board – the restaurant.

        Additionally, as the article above states, the County’s investigation to parking has also now led it to find even more violations via the illegal lockouts available for rent by some of the owners. This could have all been avoided had your Board honored its fiduciary duties of protecting ALL owners’ interest by finding ways to create more parking to cover the shortage at the resort, rather than focus on lining their individual pockets with their illegal lockout rentals as well. A majority of the current and former members participated in this – protecting only their own self interests.

        Rather than focusing on the real matters which affect the resort both positively and negatively, they chose to paint us as the enemy. All we wanted to be was a welcome part of the resort and our community. Instead, we were welcomed with parking gates on the eve of our opening with valet charges that were to be paid strictly by our patrons while all of [your] guests, visitors, families, patrons, construction crews, and AOAO controlled commercial interests got to either use valet for free or were given gate cards for entry. I once remember telling the GM, Mr. Veal there, that a “kingdom divided will not stand”. That we needed to find a better way than just shutting us out from parking, now for nearly two years.

        Additionally, wouldn’t the lockouts bring in far greater traffic with each unit ? The County found potentially up to 146 more units being available for separate rental than that what was allowed or permitted. Is the unopened restaurant is to be blamed for the parking shortage??

        Lastly, the restaurant and lounge have been in existence for nearly 40 years without these gates. Parking in the open-to-all parking lots was hardy a problem and during busy times managed internally in the past. It is because of the greater density of use at the resort and the fact that the restaurant is not controlled or managed by the Board why they are having so much of a problem in trying to be friendly neighbors.

        So where do you think the problem is likely coming from Waiola? Just the Happy Talk lounge? Nonsense!

        Parking is, and always was common element and needs to be shared by all in a peaceful, unselfish, and creative way by, don’t you agree? Isn’t that the spirit of Aloha?

        Come by sometime at the Happy Talk for a meal so we can discuss genuine ways to improve the resort’s parking situation unlike the disingenuous ways the Board has “attempted to work with us on parking” as they tell everyone.

        Our treat.


        1. Waiola December 4, 2017 6:20 pm Reply

          “Why would we “the restaurant owners” want to hold up the opening of the Bali Hai Restaurant for any reason” your quote! I don’t know, why haven’t you finished construction and opened? No one has kept you from opening, you have chosen to stop construction and opening. Is that not the case? Please tell me what has stopped construction? I’m not sure why you are associating me with the resort, like I own or work there? I don’t. But there are always two sides to a story and I feel that most of the spin, including the tasteless banner, seem to be coming from the restaurant owners. I have heard so many different numbers of parking spaces that it’s just ridiculous, very conflicting. If the resort is not within county code, I’m sure they will rectify the problem with the county. As of yet the county has not ruled one way or the other. The number of parking spaces is like the number of seating between the two establishments, the bar and restaurant, in that the numbers seem to vary on who you talk to. The number of parkings spaces has not changed but the number of seating capacity between the two facilities has. I’d like to hear your spin on that? Actually I have, you have stated that the number of seating has not changed, but it has, is that not so? You make the resort out to be the big bad wolf. You say they are in violation, I guess they are guilty before proven. The lockouts have not been ruled a violation, as they were there and happening before the code change. If it is ruled that they are not grandfathered in then I’m sure they will rectify the problem. I call it like it is and so far I question more of your statements than I do the resorts, which by the way employs more locals than your restaurant. I also question you as an employer? You might want to speak with some of your employees and see what they think of their employer? Your turnover rate is quite high. You talk about creating local jobs, hmmmmm, of what quality of job? I understand you are not happy with the situation but this property is more about the resort than a restaurant, which by the way the restaurant was there previously working in harmony with the resort. I wonder why the resort put in the gates, hmmmmm, whats changed? There are many questions people should be asking and their not because you have played the local card. No one should be making judgement until the county rules on some of these issues. However they rule, I’m sure the resort will comply, will you?


          1. Jim Mehta December 5, 2017 6:58 am

            Well, since you know so much about the County ordinances, the resort, our restaurant, our staff, and the reasons why we put a hold on construction, there is nothing more I can say. Continue to enlighten the readers, and next time put your real name so you can stand truly behind what you say. One more thing, what are you asking us to comply to? If it is seating capacity, read my next comment.


          2. Waiola December 12, 2017 9:45 am

            You truly are the master of spin. Not only did you not answer my only question, but turned everything I said around. I know nothing about county codes, all I stated was that if the resort is found noncompliant on any codes, I’m sure they will rectify them. Then you spun my comment about seating. No one has ever said your seating capacity is not in compliance with county code, rather that you have increased the number of seating from the number of the original restaurant and parking was a problem then. I am leaning towards the resort because I find that the side that spins, lies and deflects is usually doing so to hide the truth which does not support their argument. Your all about spin and deflection. What does my name have to do with the issue at hand, the FACTS. My name is Waiola, I’d prefer not to give my last name as my brother used to work for you and we don’t need you harassing us. I don’t need to stand behind my words because I have not lied about anything. Again you said why would a restaurant owner want to hold up the opening for any reason. So I’ll ask again why have you not finished construction and given those well needed jobs back to the community?


          3. Jim Mehta December 13, 2017 1:23 am

            Waiola,

            First, we too are looking forward to the day when we can create those “well needed jobs” for the community when Bali Hai opens. I am glad both we agree on this point.

            The other part of your question I will answer as follows:

            Since you seem know so much about seating capacity of the Bali Hai and Happy Talk from the past, along with the affairs of the resort and the restaurant (from your previous comments), nothing more really needs to be said is there? You should already know everything.

            Lastly, I am doubtful and find it rather comical the statement you made that your brother worked for us. For if he really did work for us, he would have been able to accurately inform you that we are not “harassing” type.

            Nonetheless, I will no longer engage in any further debate with someone who is likely hiding behind a made up name, Waiola, and dishing out the same garbage and unsubstantiated claims we have been hearing for the past few years. Let’s let time reveal what the truth is.

            All the best.


          4. Waiola December 20, 2017 9:00 am

            I find it interesting that you still haven’t answered the question. Again all you do is deflect. Facts don’t matter to you do they? You have no resolve for the truth, Just spin to support your cause. After engaging with you it is now so much clearer which side is in the right. As always it’s the side that discusses the issues and the facts, not lies, spins and deflects. e hele aku!


        2. Waiola December 4, 2017 6:27 pm Reply

          One more comment on your spin, “gates on the eve of your opening” the restaurant was not even close to opening when those gates were put in. And you know why those gates were put in don’t you? I’d be curious to hear your spin as to why those gates were put in? I thrive on facts and spin, lets hear it?


          1. Jim Mehta December 5, 2017 6:43 am

            Why don’t you enlighten us why the gates were put in? We were given numerous rather absurd reasons by your former GM, why. None of which made any sense. Since you have such intimate knowledge in the affairs of both the resort and our restaurant, prove to us and the County that we are not in compliance of our seating capacity. I openly and publicly challenge you. Come with me to County Planning, County Building, and the Kauai Fire Department and once and for all, let’s put this lie to rest. You nor your current GM appear to have a clue on how seating capacity is calculated.


  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.


    1. Waiola November 28, 2017 6:42 am Reply

      I’m not sure how the lockouts are keeping the restaurant from opening? The lockout units have always been handled this way so nothing has changed with regards to the number of parking spaces and number of lockout guests.


  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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