LIHUE — The owners of a vacation rental property on the Wailua River may be fined $130,000 for violating county zoning ordinances.
The Kauai County Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously adopted the recommendation of its hearing officer in favor of the Planning Department’s decision to fine landowners Greg and Joanne Allen for operating an illegal transient vacation rental in Wailua.
“When illegal TVR operators blatantly break the law, they disrespect our community, our people and our island,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami in a statement Tuesday.
Greg Allen said Wednesday that he doesn’t understand why he is being targeted by the county, and called the Planning Department’s actions against transient vacation rentals “a bad business move.”
According to Allen, TVRs could potentially generate a lot of tax revenue for the county.
“They should take that money and create affordable housing units, which is what I’m trying to do,” he said.
Whether the Allens will actually have to pay the county $130,000 remains to be seen. Greg Allen said he intends to appeal the commission’s decision. The Planning Commission still needs to issue a final written order before formal enforcement action can be taken to collect the fines, according to Planning Department Director Ka‘aina Hull.
According to county officials, the Allens had been renting their property illegaly for over a year. In August 2017, the Planning Department issued a violation notice and a $10,000 fine to the Allens, informing the couple that they would be subject to ongoing fines if they failed to cease and desist.
“It is the responsibility of the County of Kauai to aggressively monitor and enforce the law, and the Planning Department will be utilizing new technology and innovative methods to identify illegal TVR operators,” Kawakami said.
“The time is now for our community to take back their neighborhoods,” Kawakami said.
Caleb Loehrer, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.