County shuts down illegal rental

LIHUE – A Fifth Circuit judge Wednesday ruled in favor of the county’s shutdown of an illegal vacation rental in Kilauea.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe’s ruling in the case of Rene Campos vs County of Kauai affirms the Planning Commission’s decision on an administrative appeal last year.

Kauai attorney Jonathan Chun attempted to persuade the judge that the planning director was wrong in not considering his client’s conversion of a guest house to a single-family vacation rental as grandfathered.

Chun said the County of Kauai is inconsistent in how it upholds its laws regarding TVRs.

“They fined my client, but the rule says they have to give a warning before they fine someone. They never did,” he said. “They’re inconsistently applying their own rules and laws in order for them to accomplish what they want to do, which is to accuse Mr. Campos of cheating.”

Planning Director Michael Dahilig was pleased with the decision.

“I would like to acknowledge our legal team in defending our enforcement actions to stop those wishing to cheat our land use laws because they are tempted by the large sums of money these vacation rentals can yield,” he said. “Illegal vacation rentals like these take valuable housing out of the long-term housing market for our local residents, and is precisely why our vacation rental laws need to be respected.”

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